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  India   All India  28 May 2018  Kamal Nath pitches his own growth model for win

Kamal Nath pitches his own growth model for win

THE ASIAN AGE. | RABINDRA NATH CHOUDHURY
Published : May 28, 2018, 5:35 am IST
Updated : May 28, 2018, 5:37 am IST

Nath’s move seems to have annoyed leaders in Congress such as Jyotiraditya Scindia, MP, and ex-CM Digvijay Singh.

New Madhya Pradesh Congress chief Kamal Nath is striving hard to bring the party back to power after 15 years.
 New Madhya Pradesh Congress chief Kamal Nath is striving hard to bring the party back to power after 15 years.

Madhya Pradesh Congress chief Kamal Nath has challenged the ruling BJP on the development issue by claiming that his Lok Sabha constituency’s model is the best, but there are signs that Nath’s self-glorification has started hurting his own party colleagues.

Bhopal: Coinage of the term, “Chhindwara model of development”, marked the coronation of Kamal Nath as Madhya Pradesh Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president on May 1. The term was unheard of till then.

Nine-time parliamentarian Kamal Nath had on that  occasion pledged to introduce the model that, according to him, has ensured “all round development” of his Lok Sabha constituency Chhindwara, in other regions of MP if his party returned to power in the state in the Assembly elections slated for November.

His announcement has, however, hardly made any buzz in the political circle with the ruling BJP dismissing it as insignificant political rhetoric. Some of his critics within the Congress see it as an attempt to run down his own party leaders by claiming “my development model is better than your”.

Mr Nath, however, seems firm on using his personal development model as a key poll plank of the Congress in the year-end polls He  sought to stir a debate on development undertaken in two VIP parliamentary constituencies in MP — Chhindwara,  represented by him, and Vidisha, which was vacated for external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj by chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan earlier.

“I have ensured development of road communication, education, health, and industrial sectors in Chhindwara in the past 37 years,” he ‘has been saying  in his public and party workers meetings after becoming MP Congress president.

“Contribution of agriculture in gross domestic product (GDP) of MP currently is 34.8 per cent. Of this, Chhindwaras contribution, the highest in the state, is 4.8 per cent. This clearly establishes that Chhindwara district has witnessed robust agricultural growth in the past three and half decades,” said state Congress vice-president and former minister Raja Pataria, backing Mr Nath’s claim.

mpp

Mr Pataria cited official records to showcase better  economic condition of people in Chhindwara than Vidisha.

As per the latest official survey, 53.7 per cent of the rural population and 39.3 per cent of the urban population of Vidisha district is living below poverty line, whereas 26.4 per cent of rural population and 27.5 per cent of the urban population in Chhindwara are recorded as below poverty line (BPL) families.

Incidentally, Budhni Assembly constituency, currently represented by chief minister Mr Chouhan, falls under Vidisha district.

“The Congress is going to make ‘Chhindwara model’ a major poll plank in the Assembly elections to effectively counter the key election strategy of the BJP government to make development an issue, since we find our Chhindwara model campaign is catching the imagination of particularly the youths,” a senior Congress leader said.

The Congress is also set to make atrocities on dalits, distress condition of farmers and alleged corruption in the Shivraj Singh government as other poll issues.

The ruling BJP, however, dismissed the pitch for Chhindwara model. “There is only one development model in MP and that is Shivraj Singh Chouhan development model, which has ushered in development in the state in the past 15 years,” said ruling party spokesman  Rajneesh Agrawal.

“Mr Nath should not claim credit for development of Chhindwara, since a majority of Assembly constituencies under his Lok Sabha seat have been represented by BJP MLAs in the last three Assembly elections,” he said.

Mr Agrawal saw a hidden agenda in pushing an “imaginary” Chhindwara model by Mr Nath to sideline other factional leaders in Congress to promote himself within his party.

Mr Nath’s move seems to have annoyed leaders in Congress such as Jyotiraditya Scindia, MP, and ex-CM Digvijay Singh.

“The idea of projecting development of Chhindwara is meant to portray other party senior leaders as poor performers. Our leaders have done even better than Mr Nath as far as developing their respective constituencies is concerned,” said an aide of Mr Scindia, claiming that Mr Singh also is unhappy with the focus on Chhindwara model.

Observers say Mr Nath’s bid to highlight the Chhindwara model may prove to be a double-edged weapon as the unhappiness against it among other Congress leaders may further intensify factionalism.

Tags: kamal nath, shivraj singh chouhan, sushma swaraj
Location: India, Madhya Pradesh, Bhopal