Even as Congress president Rahul Gandhi said on Thursday that he will announce the name of the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh after consulting his party workers and MLAs, news reports say that the name should be out by Thursday evening.
Reports have also said that while Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) chief Kamal Nath is likely to be made the chief minister, another popular party leader Jyotiraditya Scindia has said that he would be happy to accept the job of the chief minister.
As the party decides on the appointment of the Madhya Pradesh chief minister, here is a look at the pros and cons of the two contenders for the post:
1. MPCC president
It is natural that the credit for Congress' performance in the Madhya Pradesh polls should mainly go to the party's state unit chief, who is Kamal Nath.
Moreover, news reports are saying that Nath's name has almost been finalised as the chief minister. It is only a matter of time before the official announcement is made.
2. Support of the newly-elected MLAs
According to The Indian Express, a majority of the newly-elected MLAs in Madhya Pradesh prefer Nath over Scindia.
Nath also has the support of senior Congress leaders, like former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijaya Singh, who had supported his selection as the party's state unit chief.
"An attitude of calling a spade a spade, astute political strategy skills, ability to take risks and loads of experience of handling tricky political situations are expected to help the Gandhi family loyalist bag the coveted prize of Madhya Pradesh CM," said this article in The Economic Times.
News18 further stated that Nath had also held key ministerial portfolios in the past.
1. The 1984 anti-Sikh riots blot
There is anger from a certain section of people online over the accusations against Nath over the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
Is this man that led a mob during 1984 massacre going to be Congress's choice as MP CM?https://t.co/y2q2zfOxrE
— Pratik Sinha (@free_thinker) December 12, 2018
Whn Rahul Gandhi appointed 1984 Sikh Massacre Murdrer Kamal nath as incharge of Punjab assembly election, @capt_amarinder protested till his removal. If RaGa still appoint Sikh Murderer Kamalnath as CM, Captain sahab should protest & Resign from Congress — Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga (@TajinderBagga) December 13, 2018
This will undoubtedly prove to be the biggest hurdle for Nath in the race for the post of chief minister.
2. The corporate tag
According to News18, Nath has always been known as a 'corporate man' who could not shed this tag despite his best efforts. Keeping in mind that farmers' discontent played a huge part in the outcome of the Madhya Pradesh polls, this could prove to be a big disadvantage for Nath.
1. Mass appeal
The son of the last titular Maharaja of Gwalior and grandson of the last ruling king of Gwalior state before Independence, the greatest advantage which Scindia has is mass appeal.
Congress' performance in Scindia's stronghold is something Scindia himself has talked of when discussing whether he would be willing to take the chief minister's job. "Almost 25 percent of the total votes that the Congress won are from the Gwalior-Chambal region," NDTV quoted Scindia as saying.
2. Age and a proven track record
As Financial Express explains, Scindia has age on his side. This means that he may have control over state affairs for a longer time than Nath.
Moreover, Scindia has an excellent track record. He has been elected to the Lok Sabha four times and had run an aggressive campaign for bypolls in Mungaoli and Kolaras constituencies.
1. Lack of support from party leadership
Despite his mass appeal, Scindia cannot boast of support from a majority of the senior leadership in Madhya Pradesh Congress and the newly-elected MLAs, who prefer Nath.
Scindia's influence is spread over Gwalior, Guna and Ujjain. But he may not enjoy such massive support from other areas.
2. Noori Khan controversy
In July this year, Scindia had been hit with a controversy when, during a press conference, he had allegedly asked state Congress spokesperson Noori Khan to step down from the stage.
Khan had later said that she as well as her supporters from the community to which she belongs had felt insulted by this incident.
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Updated Date: Dec 13, 2018 13:23:19 IST