BHOPAL: Out of power in Madhya Pradesh for 14 years, the Congress might replicate its Gujarat model in the state where Assembly polls are slated for end-2018.
A crucial meeting of senior state party leaders and Congress president Rahul Gandhi is likely to be held in New Delhi next month. To be attended, among others, by leader of opposition Ajay Singh, state party chief Arun Yadav and Lok Sabha MPs Kamal Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia, besides national general secretary in-charge of the state Deepak Babaria, the meeting is likely to lead to announcement of major changes in state party organisations.
If key sources are to be believed, instead of changing the state party president ahead of the February 24 Assembly bypolls in Kolaras and Mungaoli, Rahul is likely to replicate the Gujarat model by appointing four working presidents who will work in tandem with Yadav.
Four months prior to the Gujarat polls, the Congress had appointed four working presidents in that state but had left state chief Bharatsinh Solanki untouched. The move, aimed at striking the right caste balance as well as empowering leaders from all regions, was followed by the constitution of a 32-member poll committee comprising senior state party leaders.
Aware that the Congress has been out of power in MP due to differences between regional satraps, Rahul could appoint working presidents to coordinate affairs in separate regions of the state.
The Gujarat model has already been replicated in poll-bound Chhattisgarh, where two working state presidents — Ramdayal Uike and Shiv Deharia —were appointed without dislodging state chief Bhupesh Baghel and leader of opposition T.S. Singhdeo.
The names doing rounds for possible working presidents in MP are Sajjan Singh Verma and Prem Chand Guddu (Malwa), Raja Pateria or Mukesh Nayak (Bundelkhand), Ramniwas Rawat (Gwalior/Chambal region), Arif Aqeel (Central MP) and Rajaram Tripathi (Vindhya/Mahakoshal).
The possibility of appointing working presidents has become strong after demands to appoint Kamal Nath as state president and Scindia as the chief ministerial face in the state.
WHAT IS THE GUJARAT MODEL?
Before Gujarat polls, the Congress had appointed four working presidents without dislodging the state unit chief. All five worked together Rahul Gandhi expected to go for similar strategy in MP. Has tried it out in Chhattisgarh too Aimed at striking the right caste balance and empowering leaders from all regions of state