RAZOR’S EDGE

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 15 Dec 2018 12:24:34

EVEN as new Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Mr. Kamal Nath gets ready to take oath of office and complete the formalities of forming the Government, he must be fully aware that he is standing on razor’s edge, than to the terribly thin majority that pushed his Congress party ahead of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the State Legislative Assembly elections. From such a precarious perch, obviously, Mr. Kalam Nath will have to navigate the difficult path a responsible and responsive Government must follow. As a seasoned politician and experienced administrator with proven abilities, he would love the challenge, for sure. Despite these personality traits of his, Mr. Kamal Nath will feel dared by umpteen forces at every step of the way.

The fact that Congress High Command chose Mr. Kamal Nath as Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh makes it clear that the leadership opted for experience and acceptability as essential qualities in the given political situation in the State as well as in the country that would go to polls to elect its next Lok Sabha in less than six months from now. There is no doubt that Mr. Jyotiraditya Scindia also was in contention, but Congress President Mr. Rahul Gandhi may have wanted the young leader by his side in the Lok Sabha later on. For, the biggest challenge Mr. Gandhi now faces is to achieve an even distribution of people with leadership qualities in a politically demanding time. Perhaps, Mr. Scindia may have a different and crucial role to play in subsequent times.

No matter the political reality that the BJP lost the elections -- though with a very thin margin -- the Congress Government will not be able to erase the good work done by former Chief Minister Mr. Shivrajsingh Chouhan through his three terms. Mr. Kamal Nath will also realise soon that his predecessor has given him a generally well-managed State to administer. So, as he carries forward, Mr. Kamal Nath will have to build an altogether different narrative to establish a firmer grip on the political arena. Given his experience and also given the quality of support he will get from the Congress High Command and cadres, Mr. Kamal Nath can be expected to handle that challenge well.

Mr. Kamal Nath enjoys a great reputation not just as a seasoned politician but also as a nationally-acclaimed leader in higher education. He is often considered to be a politician with a scholarly approach to life. His mastery of fine communication and wisdom to judge which obstacles need to be side-tracked, will certainly help the new 72-year-old Chief Minister. As a person who has often done purposeful reading as a pursuit of knowledge, Mr. Kamal Nath should prove more than equal to the task. The only hitch, however, could be from the mysterious folds that line the Congress organisation in of Madhya Pradesh. Mr. Kamal Nath should be able to handle that rather grey area with skill.