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Amid BJP switch buzz, aide says Kamal Nath not defecting





Kamal Nath



and his stubborn refusal to scotch the talk, his confidant Sajjan Singh Verma on Sunday said the veteran is focused on how to select election candidates in MP and that there is no issue of defecting to BJP.
Speaking to reporters after meeting Nath, Verma said the senior leader was “sitting in his house with a chart” and told him that he was focusing on caste equations in the 29 seats in MP to strengthen Congress in the Lok Sabha polls. Quoting Nath, Verma said Nath did not deny the press queries about his


on Saturday because it was a question created by the media.
‘Tewari in talks with BJP’: Social media abuzz with rumours
Quoting Kamal Nath, Sajjan Singh Verma said Nath did not deny the press queries about his defection on Saturday because it was a question created by media. “He said I am associated with the Nehru-Gandhi family, and we have family relations, not political equations,” the MP leader said.

The rebuttal on the speculations came even as Nath has not denied the possibility of crossing over to BJP in his private conversations with well-wishers, and has expressed his resentment with “the goings on in the organisation”.
Nath, who is blamed in Congress for “spoiling” what was viewed as a positive atmosphere for the party in the recent MP assembly elections, had told reporters on Saturday that he will let them know when he takes any decision.

According to the people he spoke to, Nath is said to be miffed with what he claims is cold shouldering by Rahul Gandhi after the election debacle. He has also claimed that Rahul did not agree to a group photograph with party MLAs after the elections, which embarrassed him. However, Nath was in deep discussion with the Gandhi scion during the recent selection of candidate for Rajya Sabha election in MP, which led to the nomination of Ashok Singh.
MP Congress leaders are going out of their way to persuade him to stay back. Meanwhile, BJP sources told reporters that the issue of inducting Nath has not been discussed at the highest level yet. Nath too has told people privately that he has not been able to speak to PM Narendra Modi and home minister Amit Shah because they have been busy with the BJP convention in the capital.
There are also speculations that if Nath does not join BJP, he may push his son and Chhindwara MP Nakul Nath in BJP. Any such outcome too would not be a happy situation for Congress, since Nath has influence in his traditional seat, and his support would be required for contesting the seat in the upcoming LS polls. Chhindwara was the only seat in MP that Congress won in 2019 elections. Nath’s departure would hurt Congress perceptionally, coming as it will in the wake of the exit of former Maharashtra CM Ashok Chavan.
Meanwhile, social media was rife with reports that Congress’ Punjab MP Manish Tewari is in talks with BJP. Amid the speculation, Tewari tweeted the speech he delivered in Lok Sabha while opening the debate for the opposition on govt’s ‘white paper’ during the recent budget session. Retweeting the 24-minute speech which he had then captioned “The white paper on the economy is a black brush designed to malign by insinuation & innuendo”, Tewari had lashed out at the Modi govt’s performance. Pointing to the speech on Sunday, he merely tweeted, “reposting my last speech in the 17th Lok Sabha”.

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