Kamal Nath's Political Journey: From Indira Gandhi's 'Third Son' To Next Likely BJP Defector

Kamal Nath's Political Journey: From Indira Gandhi's 'Third Son' To Next Likely BJP Defector

The speculations of Kamal Nath joining the BJP surface amid several senior Congress leaders like Milind Deora, Ashok Chavan quitting the party recently.

Tejas JoshiUpdated: Saturday, February 17, 2024, 02:44 PM IST
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PTI

Kamal Nath, a veteran leader of the Indian National Congress (INC), is speculated to make a significant political shift from the party he has served for decades to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The speculation gained momentum as the former chief minister of Madhya Pradesh left for Delhi on Saturday afternoon. Adding to the buzz, his son & Lok Sabha Member Nakul Nath has also removed the Congress symbol and mention from his X profile. Kamal Nath switching the party would deal a severe blow to Congress, which is already in disarray with leaders leaving the party ahead of crucial Lok Sabha elections.

The speculations of Kamal Nath joining the BJP surface amid several senior Congress leaders like Milind Deora, Ashok Chavan quitting the party recently.

Kamal Nath's political career

Born on November 18, 1946, Nath has been a prominent figure in Indian politics, having served as the 18th Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh and holding various ministerial positions in the Union Council of Ministers.

Nath's political journey has seen him elected nine times from the Chhindwara Lok Sabha constituency of Madhya Pradesh, solidifying his standing as one of the longest-serving members of the Lok Sabha.

Throughout his career, Nath has held key ministerial portfolios, including Minister of Urban Development and Minister of Commerce and Industry. He has played pivotal roles in shaping India's economic and infrastructural landscape, notably spearheading initiatives in environment, textiles, and urban development.

Kamal Nath's proximity to Gandhi family

His ties with the Congress party run deep, with notable endorsements from the Nehru-Gandhi family. Indira Gandhi, India's first female prime minister, once famously referred to him as her "third son," underscoring the close relationship he shared with the influential political dynasty.

Nath was also a political advisor to Sonia Gandhi during the years when she was new to politics and needed hand-holding in Delhi to run party. The Gandhi family has relied on his political understanding through decades. However, the recent defeat in MP elections may have distanced Nath from the family.

Nath's political career hasn't been devoid of controversies, notably his alleged involvement in the 1984 Anti-Sikh Genocide following the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Despite facing scrutiny, Nath has maintained his innocence, citing absolution by the Nanavati Commission.

Loss in Madhya Pradesh assembly polls sidelines Nath

Leaders of the Congress party in Madhya Pradesh have attributed their defeat in the assembly elections to their state president, Kamal Nath, pointing to his overconfidence, lackadaisical campaign efforts, inadequate candidate selection, internal discord, and centralised control.

The BJP secured victory by winning 165 out of the 230 assembly seats, while the Congress has managed to secure only 63 seats. This marks the BJP's second strongest electoral performance since 2003, when it also won 165 seats.

Reportedly, Kamal Nath has been feeling sidelined in the party, especially over Jitu Patwari being declared MPCC president without consultation with him.

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