After Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot announced on Thursday that he will not be contesting the Congress presidential election, political observers in Madhya Pradesh have started assuming that the route for ex-chief minister and Rajya Sabha MP Digvijaya Singh to become chief of the party seems clear to some extent. However, the final outcome will be known only after the contestants for the post file their nominations and the elections are held.
The Madhya Pradesh Congress seems to have united to support Digvijaya Singh. More importantly, hours after Digvijaya Singh took the nomination form from the party headquarters in New Delhi and announced that he would file his nomination for the AICC president's election, state Congress head and ex-chief minister Kamal Nath called a meeting of Congress leaders at his residence in Bhopal and asked them to reach Delhi to back Digvijaya Singh.
Congress leaders in Madhya Pradesh are of the view that the nomination of "Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor will not be a roadblock for Digvijaya Singh, but suspense remained as another veteran leader Pawan Bansal has also taken a candidature form."
"So far, things seem to be in favour of Digvijaya Singh, but the final curtain is yet to come down and until then nothing can be said. Yes, Kamal Nath is coming out in his support definitely," said a Congress spokesperson in Bhopal.
There have been twists in every development in the nomination saga in Madhya Pradesh since the day the election schedule was announced last month, especially from Digvijaya's side. He was the one who demanded elections for the post and hinted that he would be one of the contestants. Not directly but indirectly he repeatedly made statements like "Let's wait till October 30" and "Why are you keeping me out."
Later, when the Rajasthan Congress crisis broke out and things started going against Ashok Gehlot, Singh, who accompanied Rahul Gandhi in the ongoing "Bharat Jodo Yatra", was summoned to the party headquarters in Delhi. However, a day after he returned from Delhi to Madhya Pradesh, during a press conference, he said, "I will not be contesting the AICC president polls."
Kamal Nath also went to meet Congress interim head Sonia Gandhi a couple of days back and later he made it clear that he would be focusing on the Madhya Pradesh elections in 2023 and he was not interested in becoming the party's national chief. Political observes believe that Kamal Nath might have pushed Digvijaya's name for the president's post.
However, many said that Digvijaya Singh was interested in contesting the election and he has started his preparations for it. "See, Digvijaya Singh was accompanying Rahul and he was regularly commenting on this particular subject. He wanted to contest the election, but he perhaps was waiting for a green signal from the top leadership. Yes, it is possible that he got support from Kamal Nath," said a Congress leader in Madhya Pradesh.
Reacting to this situation, senior party leader Sajjan Singh Verma, who is one of the leaders who would be visiting Delhi on Friday, said, "Things are changing every hour and the final decision would come from Sonia Gandhi. Digvijaya Singh said he would file his nomination, but he is yet to file it as of now. Let the nomination be filed first then things would be clearer. At present, matters are not clear as things are changing from Rajasthan to Delhi and Madhya Pradesh to Delhi."