Nath, 74, is among the last few ‘big’ leaders in the party who enjoys unwavering trust of all three Gandhi family members.

 

New Delhi: Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister and multiple-time Union minister Kamal Nath is likely to be asked to move to Delhi by the Gandhi family and assume either the position of party president or political secretary to Rahul Gandhi in case the present party president Sonia Gandhi steps down in favour of Rahul, who is a Lok Sabha MP from Wayanad, Kerala.

The 74-year-old Kamal Nath is among the last few “big” leaders in the party who enjoys unwavering trust of all the three Gandhi family members, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. He is presently the Madhya Pradesh PCC chief.

Two close aides of Sonia Gandhi, whom The Sunday Guardian spoke to, stated that the Gandhi family members were still to arrive at a decision on whether Rahul Gandhi should take over the reins of the party right now and make Kamal Nath his political secretary, akin to the role that was so skillfully played by the late Ahmed Patel to Sonia Gandhi, or appoint Kamal Nath as the party president with Rahul Gandhi, alongwith Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, focusing on strengthening the party on the ground.

Kamal Nath, however, denied such discussions taking place. “No such thing discussed. All this is just rubbish going on,” he told The Sunday Guardian.

Apart from enjoying the trust of all the three Gandhi family members, Kamal Nath has a very warm relationship with the 23 senior party leaders, also referred to as G-23, who had “rebelled” against the policies being followed by the Congress high command, including stifling “internal democracy” in the party.

“The party is missing a tall leader who can take along everyone, including internal dissenters and leaders from the opposition party. Rahul Gandhi likes to follow ‘combative style’ of politics and he is not going to change it. Kamal Nath has good relations with both the Prime Minister and the Home Minister and if he is appointed either as the party president or Rahul Gandhi’s political advisor, it will benefit the party,” a close aide of the present party president Sonia Gandhi said.

The aide recalled an incident that happened a few years ago when due to the intervention of Kamal Nath, one of the G-23 leaders who was falling short of required MLAs needed to ensure he got a Rajya Sabha seat, won the election, as Kamal Nath, at the very last moment, rang-up BSP president Mayawati and persuaded her to ask her MLAs to support the Congress nominee.

It is pertinent to mention that during UPA-1 time, the Congress leadership had appointed him as the parliamentary affairs minister in December 2012 in place of Pranab Mukherjee in view of Kamal Nath’s cordial relations that cut across party lines and his ability to ensure that the work assigned to him is done, mostly by ensuring that the opposite party’s demands are met.

“If there is one senior party leader who has never raised insecurity in the mind of the Gandhis, it is Kamal Nath. Rahul Gandhi likes him very much and it was evident from the fact that he chose him as the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister over his best friend Jyotiraditya Scindia. He has excellent relations with the media owners and journalists, which the party needs during these times. More importantly, he likes to move very fast and will finish more than 10-15 tasks in a day,” the second close aide to Sonia Gandhi told this newspaper on the condition of anonymity.