Kamal Nath Considering Joining BJP, Told Congress He’s “Unhappy”: Sources

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Indira Gandhi had called Kamal Nath her “third son” while campaigning for him in 1979.

New Delhi:

Amid a strong buzz of him quitting the Congress and joining the BJP, sources close to Kamal Nath have told NDTV that while he has not resigned from the party yet, he is unhappy with what is happening there and feels that it isn’t the same organisation that he had joined over four decades ago.

The sources said the former Madhya Pradesh chief minister, who arrived in Delhi on Saturday, has not met Union Home Minister Amit Shah or Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and has only heard leaders like BJP Madhya Pradesh President VD Sharma saying that he is welcome to join the BJP. 

Citing that people in Madhya Pradesh’s Chhindwara – a constituency he represented as an MP for nine terms –  want him to join the BJP to fast-track development, the senior Congress leader has said that the matter is under his consideration, the sources said. Kamal Nath’s son, Nakul Nath, is the MP from Chhindwara now and speculation is rife that he will also join the BJP along with his father. 

“Kamal Nath has conveyed his unhappiness to the Congress leadership. He feels that Rahul Gandhi is busy with the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra and the party is now being run by the likes of senior leaders Jairam Ramesh, KC Venugopal and Randeep Surjewala,” he said. 

When the sources were asked whether the cause of Mr Nath’s unhappiness was that he was not nominated for the Rajya Sabha polls, they said that was not true. The former chief minister, they said, had pushed for Ashok Singh’s nomination from Madhya Pradesh and did not want senior leader Meenakshi Natarajan, who was reportedly Rahul Gandhi’s pick for the Upper House. 

They said senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh has requested Mr Nath not to leave the party.

‘Congress Was Never In Bio’

Rumours of the former chief minister quitting the party and joining the BJP had intensified on Saturday after Nakul Nath removed ‘Congress’ from his social media bio. The sources, however, claimed Kamal Nath has said that his son never had the party’s name in his bio to begin with.

Kamal and Nakul Nath arrived in New Delhi earlier on Saturday, adding fuel to the speculation.

The Congress has denied reports of Mr Nath leaving the party, citing his long association with it and stressing on the fact that Indira Gandhi had called him her “third son” while campaigning for him in Chhindwara in 1979.

Jitu Patwari, who had replaced Mr Nath as the Madhya Pradesh Congress president after the party’s huge defeat in the Assembly elections last year, said, “When Jyotiraditya Scindia had quit the party (in 2020) and our government had fallen, every Congress worker had taken Kamal Nath’s ideology and leadership to heart and worked with him. The reports doing the rounds are baseless.”

“Can you think even in a dream that Indira Gandhi’s ‘third son’ will quit the Congress? Can he think of leaving the workers who fought the Assembly elections under his leadership and worked tirelessly to try and make him the chief minister,” he asked.

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