Congress leader Kamal Nath undecided on contesting Madhya Pradesh assembly elections

Nath is tipped in party circles as a front-runner for the Chief Minister's post along with state party's campaign committee chief Jyotiraditya Scindia.

Published: 02nd September 2018 12:38 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd September 2018 12:38 AM   |  A+A-

Congress leader and former Union Minister Kamal Nath (File | PTI)

Express News Service

BHOPAL: Assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh might be just around three months away, but the state president of opposition Congress Kamal Nath is yet to make his mind on whether to contest the assembly polls or not.

Being tipped in party circles as a front-runner for the Chief Minister's post along with state party's campaign committee chief Jyotiraditya Scindia, the former union minister said on Saturday that he is yet to decide whether to contest the assembly polls or not.

Just a few days back, Nath had said the party would release its first list of candidates for its 80 weakest seats (those have not been won by the party for a long time) by September 12.

Key sources within the party confided to The New Indian Express that the seats from where Nath and Scindia might contest the assembly polls is likely to figure in the last list of candidates.

Talking to journalists in Bhopal on Saturday, the nine-time Lok Sabha member from Chhindwara constituency said, "I've not decided as yet about contesting the assembly poll. I'm a Lok Sabha member and only a period three to four months could separate the assembly and general polls. Also, there is a possibility of LS and assembly polls being held together, let the things become clear, the decision will be made accordingly."

Nath further said BJP national president Amit Shah has written to the Law Commission and a delegation of senior leaders of BJP has met with the Election Commission of India (ECI) top brass for holding state assembly and general polls together.

Meeting of senior BJP leaders with ECI top brass and Shah writing letter in this regard to Law Commission are important developments, owing to which we need to wait and watch before taking a final call.

While Nath's statements on Saturday reignited the possibility of MP Assembly and Lok Sabha polls being held together, the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) OP Rawat during his visit to Bhopal earlier this week had made it clear that MP assembly polls will be held in time and there was no possibility of One Nation One Poll.

When queried about former MP CM and veteran BJP leader Babulal Gaur praising on Friday his (Nath's) role in the development of MP, the MPCC chief said, "Gaur is a truthful person, for whom I've deep respect. I've recently sought details from present union minister of state for urban development and housing Hardeep Singh Puri about the funds sanctioned to MP during my tenure as union urban development and housing minister. Puri's written response details that during my tenure as the union urban development minister, MP received a total of Rs 4510 crore for urban development."

"Also me as the union urban development minister approved the MP government proposal for 600 buses in cities, Rs 215 crore and Rs 126 crore were sanctioned for Bhopal for different projects. Never in the history has so much money being given for MP's urban development as sanctioned by me as union minister, nor will similar quantum of sum be sanctioned again in future. In last four years of Narendra Modi government, not even small percentage of what I sanctioned as union minister for MP's urban development has been cleared," maintained Nath.

When questioned whether he would welcome Babulal Gaur into the Congress after his praise for him (Nath) at a program in Bhopal on Friday, the MPCC chief said in a lighter vein "why him (Gaur), I invite and welcome even Shivraj Singh Chouhan into the Congress."

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