By Sandeep Pouranik
Bhopal, March 16 (IANS) The induction of Hindu Mahasabha leader and Nathuram Godse-supporter Babulal Chaurasia into the Congress has created an immense rift in the party with a considerable section of leaders opposing the move. However, Chaurasia’s position appears secure as it seems that he has the support of state party chief Kamal Nath.
Chaurasia, a Hindu Mahasabha corporator in the Gwalior civic body, was inducted into the Congress by Kamal Nath himself at an event in Bhopal recently. However, the decision has rubbed a lot of Congress leaders the wrong way with former state chief and Union Minister Arun Yadav even seeking apology from Mahatma Gandhi.
Following Arun Yadav’s reaction, Congress leaders such as veteran leader Digvijaya Singh’s brother and legislator Lakshman Singh, former MP Meenakshi Natarajan and many others have termed Chaurasia’s induction as against the principles of the Congress. Digvijaya Singh questioned about the move, asking who is Chaurasia.
While many leaders questioned the induction as against the Gandhian principles, senior leader Manak Aggarwal attacked Kamal Nath on the issue. His case was sent to the party disciplinary committee and he was expelled from the party for six years.
A senior Congress leader, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that the party had the power to act against Aggarwal for his comments but cited that he was a leader deeply committed to the party and therefore, any action against him should have been properly considered.
He also said that it was for Kamal Nath to speak out on the issue, given the growing disquiet in the party, and the perception that Chaurasia was under his patronage.
The issue has divided the party into two camps – one standing with Kamal Nath and the other questioning the way ahead after the induction of a Godse-supporter – and the possibility of a further rift is increasing.
Political observers say that Aggarwal’s fate is intended to show that action can be taken against Digvijaya Singh supporters, as well as to burnish Kamal Nath’s power and it is likely that action against more Congress leaders could follow.
By Sandeep Pouranik