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Cong dubs talk of Kamal Nath's switch to BJP misinformation

Singh dismissed the speculation that Kamal Nath and his son may switch to the ruling BJP

Cong dubs talk of Kamal Naths switch to BJP misinformation

Kamal Nath

NEW DELHI: The Congress and a close aide of Kamal Nath on Monday sought to scotch speculation that he may cross over to the BJP, with the party dismissing it as "misinformation" and his confidant asserting that the question of the veteran leader quitting the party does not arise.

Congress general secretary in-charge of Madhya Pradesh Jitendra Singh said that both the former Madhya Pradesh chief minister and his son Nakul Nath, a Lok Sabha MP, will participate in the Rahul Gandhi-led Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra when it passes through the state.

Singh dismissed the speculation that Kamal Nath and his son may switch to the ruling BJP.

"Kamal Nath ji is a senior leader of our party. All these speculations have been made by the BJP and the media. I spoke to him yesterday and the day before yesterday also, and we discussed the preparations for the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra," Singh told reporters at the Congress headquarters here.

"I am going to Bhopal tomorrow and meetings are taking place with MLAs, various committees and MPs. Kamal Nath ji will also join those meetings and his suggestions for the yatra's passage will be taken note of. He will prominently participate in the yatra in Madhya Pradesh," he said.

Pressed further about the speculation that Kamal Nath and his son may join the BJP, Singh reiterated that "all this is speculation" and alleged that the BJP always attempts to "spread wrong news and misinformation".

He said Kamal Nath will "100 per cent" participate in the Nyay Yatra when it enters the state later this month. "The preparations for the yatra are on, he (Nath) is participating in that," Singh said.

Asked about Chhindwara MP Nakul Nath, Singh said he is an MP of the party and he will also participate in the yatra.

Earlier, Kamal Nath's confidant Sajjan Singh Verma dismissed reports of the veteran Congress leader contemplating a switch to the BJP, saying the question of him leaving the party, in which he has spent more than 40 years, does not arise.

Verma said Kamal Nath and his son Nakul Nath are both not crossing over to the BJP and asserted that the latter will contest the Lok Sabha polls, likely to be held in April-May, from Chhindwara in Madhya Pradesh as the Congress candidate.

Talking to reporters after meeting Kamal Nath at his residence here, Verma said he had a detailed discussion with the Congress veteran, who told him that he would soon hold a meeting in Bhopal for ensuring the success of the Nyay Yatra.

"He (Kamal Nath) told me that 'I will call all the in-charges of the Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee and discuss the preparations for the Lok Sabha polls'. I asked about the media speculation about him, to which he said why should 'I answer an imaginary question'," Verma said.

"I do not think I need to answer such imaginary questions. I did not tell any mediaperson that I am quitting (the Congress) or compromising with the BJP. In that case, I would have given a reply, but why should I answer an imaginary question?" Kamal Nath was quoted as asking by Verma.

He said the question of Kamal Nath leaving the grand old party does not arise.

"Thinking that the person who has worked with Indiraji, Rajivji and Sanjayji, who is referred to as Indira's (Gandhi) third son, will leave the party is meaningless. A person who has spent 40 years in the Congress, how can he go anywhere?" Verma asked.

Kamal Nath arrived in Delhi on Saturday afternoon and during his brief interaction with reporters here, he asked them not to get excited.

Asked if he is joining the BJP, Nath said, "If there would be any such thing, I would inform you first."

An astute politician, Kamal Nath has worked with three generations of the Gandhi family. In 1979, then prime minister Indira Gandhi described him as her third son.

The former CM is said to be disgruntled over not getting a Rajya Sabha berth and also, Rahul Gandhi is understood to be upset with him since the Congress suffered a defeat in the Madhya Pradesh Assembly polls last year.

Kamal Nath was replaced as the party's Madhya Pradesh unit chief following its rout in the assembly polls, in which the BJP retained power winning 163 seats in the 230-member House. The Congress managed to win just 66 seats.

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