New Delhi: Congress workers have blamed Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi for mishandling the affairs in Madhya Pradesh as a result of which the Kamal Nath-led government in the state died a premature death on Friday after completing just 15 of the 60 months they were expected to last.
Party leaders told The Sunday Guardian that first Rahul Gandhi and then Sonia Gandhi erred when they decided to give more weightage to the duo of Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh while completely ignoring the aspirations of Jyotiraditya Scindia.
According to them, two things were clear from day one of the Madhya Pradesh results coming out in December 2018—the Congress had a wafer-thin majority in the Assembly and Scindia wanted to be the Chief Minister of the state (Congress won on 114 seats in the 230-seat Assembly).
“Scindia’s issues should not have been allowed to fester so much, especially when the majority was so thin. Conventional political wisdom demanded that Scindia should have been given a suitable post once his claims to the CM’s chair were declined. Scindia had explicitly made it clear that he wanted to be the Chief Minister. So, when Rahulji decided not to appoint him as the Chief Minister, he should have at least made sure that he was made the PCC chief. But first Rahul Gandhi and then Sonia Gandhi, influenced by the collective wisdom of Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh, did not appoint him as the PCC chief as they were told that Scindia would not let Kamal Nath run his government smoothly if he was made the PCC chief. A more mature and sensible approach by Sonia Gandhi, if not Rahul Gandhi, would have been able to placate Scindia, but they just sat on his grudges for more than one year and now they can do nothing,” a party MLA said.
According to a party spokesperson, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, perhaps, were intimidated by the duo of Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh and hence did not put their foot down when it came to giving Scindia a suitable “pat on the back”.
“The Congress had come to power in the state after 15 years and hence the Gandhi’s did not want to meddle too much and thought it was best to let the experienced duo of Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh handle it. Most of all, they never took the ‘rumours’ of Scindia being upset very seriously,” a Bhopal-based party spokesperson said.
According to a close associate of Scindia, even Kamal Nath never seriously believed that Scindia would jump ship with so many of his men joining him. The associate too blamed Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi for deliberately ignoring the signs that were repeatedly given by Scindia that he was not happy with what was going on in his political career.
“The former CM (Kamal Nath) was made to believe that Scindia did not have the support of more than 15 MLAs and these too will stay with the Congress even if Scindia leaves the party. Hence, even Kamal Nath did not care too much about Scindia’s grudge. The intelligence gathering mechanism of both Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh, within the BJP and the Congress, too, failed them as they could not tell them within sufficient time that Scindia was doing serious discussion with the BJP. Had they been told, they would have ‘stolen’ Scindia’s MLAs then and there by giving them position in the government,” he said. He added that Rahul Gandhi not standing up with Scindia was something that the latter had not expected and it was something that played a major part in Scindia’s decision to make sure that the Congress government fell.