Updated December 17th, 2023 at 14:21 IST
Analysis | Why Congress picked Jitu Patwari as a replacement for Kamal Nath
With the recent rejig in the Madhya Pradesh unit, the Congress party aims to achieve a caste balance taking a page out of BJP’s handbook
- 2 min read
After losing three states together- Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh to the BJP the Congress party is trying to make amends. Focusing on caste balancing is one of them and the same reason is being cited for choosing Jitu Patwari as the state chief in Madhya Pradesh.
Congress has appointed Jitu Patwari as the party’s president of the Madhya Pradesh unit on Saturday, December 16, replacing veteran leader Kamal Nath. Apart from Patwari, Congress leadership appointed Umang Singhar as Congress Legislature Party leader and Hemant Katare as his deputy.
The move comes after BJP appointed Mohan Yadav, an Other Backward Class (OBC) leader, as the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh as it clinched an emphatic victory by winning 163 seats in the 230-member assembly polls while the Congress was limited to 66.
An aim at OBCs with Jitu Patwari's appointments
Jitu Patwari (50) who lost the recent polls from Rau in Indore also hails from the same community. The Congress by appointing Patwari aims to claim representation of the OBCs.
Jitu Patwari has served as a minister in the Kamal Nath government between December 2018 and March 2020. Katare's father Satyadev Katare has been LoP in the Assembly and has also served as state home minister.
But can Congress pull this off? The simple answer is No. The BJP has a pack of influential OBC leaders in Madhya Pradesh and the saffron party enjoys sizeable OBC voterbase. OBCs constitute 48 per cent of the state's population, and the ruling BJP has had four CMs from the segment since 2003, namely Uma Bharti, Babulal Gaur, Shivraj Singh Chouhan and incumbent Mohan Yadav.
Brahmins and Dalit deputy CMs force Congress to appoint leaders from the same community
Further, in the rejig Umang Singhar entrusted with the responsibility of Legislature Party leader is a tribal and his deputy Hemant Katare hails from the Brahmin community. The decision follows the appointment of Rajendra Shukla (Brahmin) and Jagdish Devda (Dalit) as CM Mohan Yadav’s deputies by the BJP.
(With agency inputs)
Published December 17th, 2023 at 14:10 IST