In Madhya Pradesh, the Congress may soon appoint a new leader of opposition in the assembly since state chief Kamal Nath is expected to relinquish the post. Still, Nath is likely to have a say in the selection of his successor.
The three-day session of the state Assembly is going to begin from December 28. Before that speculation is rife about the new leader of the opposition. Within the party, it is being said that after the demise of senior leader Ahmed Patel, Kamal Nath's role in the politics of the Congress at the centre can increase and he can get a greater responsibility from the party high command. Nath's recent meeting with Sonia Gandhi is also being linked to this.
If the claimants of the leader of the opposition are to be seen, it is known that the party is likely to bet on a leader from the scheduled castes or tribes. This is because Vikrant Bhuria, a prominent face of the tribal category, has won the election as state president of the Youth Congress. This is affecting the claims of those like Bala Bachchan and Dr Vijay Lakshmi Sadho. Besides Sajjan Verma, leaders such as Dr Govind Singh, Harsh Yadav and Brijendra Singh Rathore are also said to be in the contention.
Senior Congress leader and former minister P.C. Sharma believes that the Leader of the Opposition of the Congress should be one who can put up a decent fight on the ground.
Congress sources say Nath has convened a meeting on December 27, a day before the assembly session. It is possible a big decision is taken in this meeting.
Political pundits believe that many Congress leaders want Kamal Nath to relinquish one of the posts: state party chief or leader of opposition so that another leader can get a chance on one of them.
Nath appears to have made up his mind to quit as leader of the opposition, because he is keen to take on a big responsibility in the assembly elections in the year 2023. So, it is more likely that Nath will remain the head of the party and anoint a person of his choice as leader of opposition.