Kamal Nath
Kamal Nath
File photo

The Congress faced two revolts from its younger lot in 2020. In Madhya Pradesh Jyotiraditya Scindia led a successful revolt in March this year and later the Congress government fell and the BJP was successful in forming the government just 15 months after the Congress gained majority in the assembly. But a timely intervention by Ahmed Patel saved the government from meeting the same fate in Rajasthan.

The differences between the Kamal Nath-Digvijay Singh duo and Jyotiraditya Scindia reached breaking point. Supporters of Scindia felt marginalised and sidelined in the party and decided to jump ship just ahead of Rajya Sabha polls in Madhya Pradesh.

The revolt in MP began on March 2 when 10 disenchanted MLAs of the Congress and its allies reached a hotel in Haryana and contacted the BJP leadership apparently to topple the Kamal Nath government. Also, four disgruntled MLAs were flown to Bengaluru. Thereafter the BJP cast its net on Scindia, then Congress general secretary who was not getting along with Nath and Singh. 19 legislators loyal to him went incommunicado on March 9. By evening they landed at a resort in Bengaluru. These MLAs were airlifted to Delhi by chartered planes.

The Congress tried to knock the doors of the Supreme Court but did not get a reprieve and after an 18-day standoff, the Congress government fell and BJP formed the government. However Jyotiraditya Scindia got elected to the Rajya Sabha but has not been inducted in the Union Cabinet despite winning in the bypolls held after the resignation of the MLAs.

In a similar manner, former Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot led a revolt in the state but returned to the party fold in time to save the government. The crisis was averted, but not before a political drama unfolded from a Gurugram-based hotel in which the MLAs were lodged.

The fight within the Rajasthan Congress began after the Special Operations Group released tapped phone calls which purportedly discussed the rift between Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and his deputy Pilot. After the SOG summoned him, Pilot, along with his loyalist MLAs reached Delhi and the Congress appealed to him twice to attend the legislature party meet but it was all futile. The Congress alleged it is the BJP's plan to topple the Congress government in Rajasthan by bringing Congress MLAs and Independents in their fold.

Timely intervention by Ahmed Patel saved the government in Rajasthan and the Congress constituted a three-member committee to look after the grievances of sulking Congress leader Sachin Pilot and quell the crisis. Ahead of this, Sachin Pilot met former Congress President Rahul Gandhi and expressed his grievances in detail.

After the rebellion, the Congress had sacked Pilot as Deputy Chief Minister and Rajasthan Congress President. However, the turmoil in Rajasthan Congress is not yet over since the Pilot camp is pushing for rehabilitation of his supporters in the council of ministers and also at important positions in civic boards and corporations.

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Free Press Journal