Bhopal: From notarised affidavits to solemn pledges, from stern diktats to reasoned counselling – the Madhya Pradesh Congress is using every trick in its bag to keep its flock together. With the Vidhan Sabha elections only a couple of months away, the biggest worry of the Congress is rampant factionalism and the consequent sabotage of its poll effort.
Party workers and leaders seeking tickets are being asked to submit notarised affidavits on Rs 100 stamp papers saying that they would not work against the party’s official candidates in the elections. “I state on oath that I will sincerely and truthfully work in the favour of the person who is nominated by the Congress party as its candidate from my assembly constituency. I affirm that I will neither contest as an Independent candidate nor as candidate of any other party against the official candidate of the party”, the affidavits say.
Pledge in the name of Ram
Jitu Patwari, the state working president of the party, who is taking out a Janjagran Yatra through the state, is asking the claimants for tickets to take an oath in the name of god that they would not, in any way, hurt the prospects of the party’s official candidates. At Mehgaon in Bhind district two days back, Jitu Patwari asked all the ticket-seekers to stand in a row and administered an oath to them in the name of Ram. The wannabe candidates were asked to raise their hands and declare that if they do not get ticket, they would not work against the party. “It will be the Congress and not any individual who will be contesting the elections from here,” they repeated after Patwari.
AICC general secretary faced angry workers
On July 30, Deepak Babaria, the AICC general secretary in-charge for Madhya Pradesh was roughed up by the party workers at Rewa after he told a press conference that if the Congress comes to power, either Jyotiradtiya Scindia or Kamal Nath would be the chief minister of the state. When queried whether leader of opposition in the Vidhan Sabha Ajay Singh was not in the list of probables, he kept mum.
Factionalism has been a bane of the party for decades now. The party satraps Scindia, Digvijay Singh and Kamal Nath have their own camps and so do leaders down the line.