Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, who also heads the state unit of the Congress, on Saturday snubbed senior party leader Jyotiraditya Scindia, saying that he was free to take to the streets if that helped force the government to fulfil the promises on farm loan waiver and absorption of guest teachers in government service.
The two have been at loggerheads with Scindia telling his supporters that he would hit the streets if the Kamal Nath government failed to fulfil the promises made in the party manifesto.
After taking up the cause of farmers over the loan waiver, Scindia fired another salvo on Friday by saying, “I will become shield and sword of guest teachers in Madhya Pradesh if their demands are not met.”
Kamal Nath responded by saying: “Manifesto is for five years, right? It is not for five months”.
The guest teachers in the state had been promised to be absorbed in government service on better terms but the government has not been able to fulfil its promise yet.
“It is impossible that Congress makes a promise and does not fulfil it. If the Congress has promised something, it is very important to fulfil it. Nahi to sadak par utarna padega (otherwise we’ll have to take to the streets),” Scindia had said.
Scindia’s statement came just hours after Congress leader and Madhya Pradesh minister Govind Singh said that his party could not waive farmers’ loans due to a “difficult situation”.
Responding to the media over Scindia’s threat to protest if the state government fails to fulfil its promise, Kamal Nath said “to utar jayein sadkon par (do hit the streets if you wish)”.
Kamal Nath had earlier showed displeasure over Scindia targeting him over manifesto promises made to the public. Though Scindia’s belligerence had subsided by Saturday noon, the last has not been heard about the battle as yet.
Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh, however, denied that there was acrimony between Scindia and Kamal Nath. “We had a meeting on Saturday morning that Scindia attended. The atmosphere was cordial. He had another appointment and had to leave by noon. But his part of discussion was completed by then,” Digvijaya Singh said.
“The manifesto (or ‘vachan patra’ as it is described by Congress) is for five years. We have fulfilled many promises and the other promises are also being fulfilled. Scindia is not against anybody. Congress is together under the leadership of Kamal Nath,” Digvijaya Singh said.
Kamal Nath himself had earlier said that the state government was not doing enough in accordance to Congress’ poll promises.
Scindia is disgruntled because he believes he hasn’t got his due from the party. In the aftermath of the 2018 Assembly elections, Scindia’s name was floated as probable chief ministerial candidate. However, the office was subsequently assumed by Kamal Nath.
Scindia has not been considered for the PCC chief’s post either. He may also be putting pressure on the party to be considered for Rajya Sabha when the state sends three candidates to the Upper House in April.
Former Chief Minister and BJP leader Shivraj Singh Chouhan also tried to add fuel to the fire by suggesting that Scindia should hit the streets against his own party’s government because it had led the state to ruins.