Madhya Pradesh: Fissures in Congress as former MP quits panel
The Congress which is taking on the BJP in Madhya Pradesh suffered a setback as former MP Meenakshi Natarajan resigned from Madhya Pradesh Congress's manifesto committee, apparently peeved by the induction of her 'bete noire' Rajendra Singh Gautam into a party panel.
The development comes ahead of Congress president Rahul Gandhi's visit to Mandsaur district of the state on June 6 to mark the first anniversary of the death of six farmers in police firing.
State Congress chief Kamal Nath sought to downplay the issue, saying he had spoken to Natarajan and a solution will be found.
Natarajan, former Mandsaur MP and a close confidante of Congress president Rahul Gandhi, quit the party manifesto committee yesterday, sources close to her said.
When asked whether she had withdrawn the resignation, she said today, "I would not make any public statement on the party's internal issues. I do not talk about party's issues outside.
"I am preparing for Rahul ji's visit right now," she told PTI.
Talking to the media later, Nath insisted that Natarajan had not resigned from the committee.
"She has not resigned. I had a talk with Meenakshi ji. These sort of things keep happening. Meenakshi is our respected leader. She had been in Parliament. Everyone will be heard and a solution would be found," he said.
"Picking someone for a panel is a small issue. Such things happen," he added.
Congress general secretary Ashok Gehlot had on Tuesday announced the formation of various committees as the Assembly elections in the state were due later this year.
Natarajan was appointed chairperson of the manifesto committee, while Gautam was made a member of the state coordination committee.
However, a day after the appointment, Natarajan and her supporters including, Congress MLA from Mandsaur Hardeep Singh Dang and district unit vice president Mahendra Gurjar, resigned from their organisational posts.
Dang told PTI that he had quit as a delegate of the All India Congress Committee (AICC).
"Meenaksh ji should be taken into confidence while taking decisions pertaining to Mandsaur-Neemuch," he said.
Notably, Gautam had rebelled against Natarajan in 2009 when she was chosen as the party's candidate from Mandsaur Lok Sabha constituency.
Rahul Gandhi is slated to visit Piplya Mandi village in the district on June 6 and address a rally.