IANS /New Delhi
Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi will meet party general secretary Jyotiraditya Scindia today on the sidelines of a meeting to discuss plans for the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, party leaders said yesterday.
According to a senior Congress leader, Scindia was earlier summoned to meet Gandhi on Monday over the infighting in Madhya Pradesh for the post of the state unit chief, but that did not happen.
“The issue of the leadership crisis in the state is likely to be discussed between the two leaders tomorrow during the meeting,” the leader said.
He also said that Gandhi will ask Scindia to present his case in detail in the next few days.
The Congress has called the meeting of all general secretaries, state and local leaders to discuss the party’s plans for the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath had met Gandhi on Saturday evening and said he had a discussion over the state issue.
“She expressed her concern over the discipline issue in the party in Madhya Pradesh,” the chief minister said.
The crisis in the Madhya Pradesh Congress snowballed into a full-fledged war between the faction loyal to Scindia and the rest. Many of Scindia supporters have openly vented their anger against Kamal Nath and former chief minister Digvijaya Singh.
According to party leaders, Gandhi is taking feedback from party leaders over the new state Congress chief. The party leaders said that the decision on new state Congress head will be decided in the next 10-15 days.
On Friday, miffed over the infighting and many party leaders openly speaking to media demanding Scindia be made the state unit chief, Gandhi sought a report from state in-charge Deepak Babaria over the issue.
According to sources, Digvijaya Singh has been opposing Scindia’s candidature as state unit head. Late last year, Scindia was in the race for the chief minister’s post when the party won the assembly election defeating the Bharatiya Janata Party. However, the then Congress president Rahul Gandhi named long-time Congress loyalist Nath for the top post.
Meanwhile, Sonia Gandhi held a meeting with Maharashtra Congress party unit chief Eknath Gaikwad in New Delhi a day after actor-turned-politician Urmila Matondkar and former state home minister Kripa Shankar Singh resigned from the party.
Gaikwad met Gandhi at her 10 Janpath residence and held discussions with her for over an hour.
He said the United Progressive Alliance chairperson discussed the issue of many leaders deserting the party ahead of assembly polls in the state.
On Tuesday, Matondkar, who had joined the party ahead of the Lok Sabha elections and contested unsuccessfully accused its Mumbai leadership of “betrayal”.
Meanwhile, Singh - once billed as the Congress’ benign north-Indian face in Mumbai - has also expressed his differences with the Congress’ official stance opposing the recent striking down of the Constitution’s Article 370 on Jammu and Kashmir.
The Congress said that Gandhi also discussed the issue of an alliance with the Nationalist Congress Party and other parties in the state ahead of the assembly polls.
On Tuesday, NCP chief Sharad Pawar also met Gandhi in Delhi.
In the 2014 elections, the BJP came to power in Maharashtra by winning 122 seats in the 288-member assembly. BJP’s ally Shiv Sena won 62 seats. The Congress and the NCP bagged 42 and 41 seats, respectively.
The Congress and the NCP are looking for a comeback in the state.
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