Kamal Nath, Jyotiraditya Scindia spar over parties' strength in Gwalior-Chambal

Congress party logo [Representational Image]
Congress party logo [Representational Image]File/ GK

Bhopal, Jan 20: Congress' Madhya Pradesh unit President Kamal Nath on Friday attacked his Union Minister - and former party colleague - Jyotiraditya Scindia, whose defection to the BJP led to his government's fall in 2020, saying he has become "politically redundant" even in his pocket borough Gwalior.

Citing results of the municipal elections held a few months back, Nath, who was visiting Tikamgarh district in Bundelkhand region, noted that the ruling BJP lost mayoral posts in both Gwalior and Morena, despite having Scindia on their side.

"If he (Scindia) was such a big gun, why did they (BJP) lose mayoral seats in Gwalior and Morena?" he said in response to a question by a reporter on the Congress contesting the upcoming Assembly elections without Scindia.

"We (Congress) don't need Scindia anymore. They were doing a conspiracy to dissolve the Congress government three months before it (March 2020) and I was aware of it. I too, could have purchased MLAs to save my government, but I didn't do that because I didn't want to tarnish Madhya Pradesh's image," the former Chief Minister said in an aggressive tone.

The BJP had lost the mayoral posts in Gwalior and Morena, the home turf of two Union Ministers Narendra Singh Tomar and Scindia earlier in July last year. The Congress had won five out of 16 mayoral posts against the ruling BJP, which had been in power in all 16 municipal corporations in Madhya Pradesh, but was now restricted to nine only.

Notably, in the 2018 Assembly elections, Nath and Scindia had together campaigned in Gwalior-Chambal region, where the Congress defeated the BJP by a slender margin after 15 years.

However, in March 2020, Scindia, along with over 20 Congress MLAs shifted into the BJP, forcing Nath to resign as Chief Minister's post and paving the way for the return of Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led BJP government in the state.

Scindia hit back at Kamal Nath's remarks, levelling a series of charges against the then Congress government, including making the Madhya Pradesh government a 'transfer industry', indulging in corruption, breaking promises made to the people and 'mafia raj'.

Taking to Twitter, Scindia, on Kamal Nath's comment "if he was a big gun", wrote: "Record of 15 months cannon government of Madhya Pradesh Congress. Transferred, Industries, Breaking the promise, Corruption and Mafia-Raj," adding that "It is good that I do not fit your definition of cannon".

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