Nath names Scindia as choice for Madhya Pradesh CM

In a statement which could complicate political equations in the faction-ridden Madhya Pradesh Congress ahead of state assembly elections, union minister for urban development and parliamentary affairs Kamal Nath on Sunday said Jyotiraditya Scindia would become the next Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh if the Congress gained a majority.

He was speaking to the press in Guna, 200 km from Bhopal, after inaugurating a water supply scheme along with Scindia, who is the local MP and a junior minister in the union government.

"When I visited Guna 20 years ago before the 1993 elections, Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh became the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh. Now I have come again, and union minister of state for energy (independent charge) Jyotiraditya Scindia will become the chief minister," Nath said.

Nath later clarified that what he had said was his personal opinion, adding that the chief minister is decided as per party policies.

Quizzed about a recent TV interview in which Nath had said he was willing to become the chief minister himself, he said he had merely answered in the affirmative while responding to a question of whether he would accept the post if it was offered to him.

Slamming the current Bharatiya Janata Party government of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, he alleged that rampant corruption by the sand and liquor mafia was flourishing under the BJP rule.

"The present government has failed to deliver what they promised before the elections. People are thoroughly discontented with widespread corruption and abuse of power," he had said.

Addressing a function earlier, Nath said he wished that in the coming assembly polls, the Congress flag would fly in the MP Assembly and Scindia should hoist it in all constituencies, including Bhopal.

The sudden announcement was in stark contrast to prior statements made by Congress leaders including AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh who claimed that chief ministers in the Congress are elected by the Legislative Party after the elections.