By Sidhartha Dutta and Prashant Sood
New Delhi, July 11 (IANS) Congress leader Jyotiradtiya Scindia says the party should project a chief ministerial candidate in Madhya Pradesh for the assembly polls next year, a decision he feels should have been taken six months ago.
He also says the party needs to project a chief ministerial candidate in each of the states that will go for polls ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, stating that people want to know whom they are going to put their trust in.
However, he would not comment as to whether senior leader Kamal Nath could be party’s chief ministerial candidate in Madhya Pradesh.
“I certainly think so. I think politics in the country has changed and I think you have to project a face,” he told IANS, when asked if the party should project a chief ministerial candidate in Madhya Pradesh where elections will be held by the end of next year.
“It is very important that the party works unitedly. It is very important that the workers have a sense of energy and for that, and also to be able to gain the trust of 7.5 crore voters in Madhya Pradesh, or for that matter in any other state, it’s very important to define who will lead the state in the event that the voters repose their trust and faith in the party,” said Scindia, who is chief whip of the party in the Lok Sabha.
Asked how soon this decision should be taken in Madhya Pradesh, Scindia said, “According to me, it should have been taken six months ago.”
To a question if the party was late, he said: “Don’t put words in my mouth. But, yes, I think we need to take it sooner rather than later.”
To a query if the leadership was moving in the direction of taking a decision, Scindia said he certainly hoped so. “We have less than 15 months left. I think we need to move quickly.”
Scindia, who is MP from Guna in Madhya Pradesh, said the Congress should project a chief ministerial candidate in each of the states going to the polls before the 2019 elections.
“That’s my opinion. I think people in this country, whether it is a parliamentary election, vidhan sabha election, zila panchayat election, nagar palika election, janpad election, nagar nigam election, councillor election, they want to know who is it that they are going to put their trust in,” he said.
To a question about perception that senior leader Kamal Nath was resourceful and could be the face of the party in Madhya Pradesh, Scindia said it would not be right or fair to comment.
“I have a great deal of respect for Mr. Kamal Nathji. He and I share a very strong and wonderful relationship. So, therefore, it’s not something that I would want to comment on. He is a very senior and very capable leader. Someone who has done a lot of work in his 40 years of political life,” he said.
He said Congress unit in Madhya Pradesh was united to dislodge the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has won the previous three assembly polls.
“We are all united. We may have various views, but I think we are all united in terms of the idea of working together to dislodge the BJP and form a Congress government in Madhya Pradesh,” he said.
Asked who will be the face of the party in the state, Scindia said it was for the “party to decide”.
The party has several senior leaders in the state including former Union minister Kamal Nath, former Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh and leader of party in the assembly Ajay Singh, besides Scindia himself.
Asked about his role in the election, Scindia said he was a soldier of the party.
“My role will be the same role that I have played for the last 15 years which is being the soldier of the party,” he said.
Asked if young leadership should be promoted in Madhya Pradesh, he said “capable leadership” has to be promoted.
Scindia, who is into his fourth term as a parliamentarian, said the party has raised the voice of farmers and termed the death of five farmers last month in police firing in Mandsaur “a dastardly act”.
“We are fighting for justice to them and that is what I did in my eight-day tour of Madhya Pradesh last month,” Scindia said.
Scindia, who is touring the state to raise issues concerning farmers, said he will also meet families of farmers who had committed suicide.
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