Madhya Pradesh: Kamal Nath quits as CLP leader; Congress picks Govind Singh for post

Madhya Pradesh: Kamal Nath quits as CLP leader; Congress picks Govind Singh for post

India News

AFTER MORE than two years as Leader of the Opposition in Madhya Pradesh Assembly, senior Congress leader and former chief minister Kamal Nath on Thursday stepped down as leader of Congress Legislature Party (CLP). The party named seven-time MLA Govind Singh as his replacement.

Kamal Nath, who is also the state Congress president since 2018, took over as Leader of Opposition after his 15-month-long government fell on March 20, 2020 with the exit of Jyotiraditya Scindia and his 25 loyalist MLAs.

“This is to inform you that the Congress president has accepted your resignation from the post of leader, Congress Legislature Party, Madhya Pradesh with immediate effect. The party wholeheartedly appreciates your contribution as the CLP leader,” said AICC general secretary K C Venugopal in a communication to Kamal Nath.

The letter also named 71-year-old Govind Singh as the next CLP leader.

Incidentally, Kamal Nath chose former state unit chief Arun Yadav, who is considered to be from his rival faction, to deliver the message to Singh about his appointment, said a party leader.


Kamal Nath had been receiving flak from within party and the BJP for skipping Assembly sessions owing to his frequent trips to Delhi. In a recent video, he was heard saying, “It is true that I have not been able to attend Assembly sessions as often because I have to meet 200 people. Will I listen to BJP bakwas there [in Assembly].” After the video went viral, BJP state president V D Sharma wrote to the Speaker, demanding his suspension.

Over the past month, Kamal Nath during various interactions with the media suggested that his focus was towards strengthening the party organisation in the the state.

Soon after receiving the communication about his appointment as CLP leader, Singh along with Yadav and other senior leaders reached Kamal Nath’s residence to thank him. “The decision is being seen as a show of unity in the Congress,” said a party leader.

“The issues of people, including excesses of the government, specially though illegal bulldozer action, unemployment, farmers’ issue, price rise will all be taken up in Assembly with force,” Singh told reporters, expressing confidence that the Congress will oust the BJP in the 2023 Assembly elections.

A tall Thakur leader, who has been representing Lahar constituency in Bhind district since 1990, Singh is expected to strengthen the party in the Gwalior-Chambal belt, where a vacuum in the party leadership was felt after the exit of Scindia. In the 2018 elections, the party had bagged 26 out of 34 seats in this region.

Considered a grassroots leader, Singh is seen by many leaders as well as workers as accessible. He is also known to have maintained healthy relationship with party leaders from rival factions.

Singh served as minister for General Administration, Parliamentary Affairs and Co-operatives in the previous Kamal Nath government. Earlier, he was also appointed as Minister of State for Home in 1998 in the Digvijaya Singh government.

Fondly known as ‘Dadda’ or ‘Doctor Sahab’ among leaders not only from Congress but also from the BJP, Singh also served as the chief whip during the trust vote in 2020.

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