The appointment of Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia as chairman of Madhya Pradesh poll campaign committee does not make him a claimant for the chief minister's post, Leader of Opposition in state Assembly Ajay Singh has said.
"Congress has no such tradition like (of announcing) chief ministerial candidate. If few persons have become chairmen of some committees, then there is nothing new in it. One should remember that I was also the chairman of a campaign committee in 2008, but was not a claimant for the chief minister's post," Ajay told PTI here today.
"Like that only, Scindiaji has got the job of campaign committee chief. Arun Yadav, Prem Chand Guddu, Suresh Pachouri and I too have got the post. These posts are meant for election management and making entire arrangements," he said.
"Becoming chairman of a committee doesn't mean that you become a claimant for the chief minister's post. In Congress, it depends on the MLAs and the party high command. Congress had no such tradition earlier and not even today," the leader clarified.
The MP Assembly elections are slated later this year.
On the party not announcing its candidates despite Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi stating earlier that they would be declared till July 31, Ajay said the process for finalising candidates started late.
"I think, majority of the tickets will be announced before Dussehra festival," he added.
However, no quota-permit system would prevail and only those capable of winning the polls will be given the tickets, he stressed.
Referring to charges of corruption levelled by him against Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and his ministerial colleagues, Ajay said that he had met Lokayukta on various occasions to press for speeding up the probe, but he expressed his helplessness as the government was not providing relevant documents for the purpose.
On BJP's confidence of scoring a hat-trick in the upcoming state Assembly elections riding on Chouhan's image, Ajay said the saffron party has a lot of misunderstanding as Chouhan's image no longer remains spotless.
"Everybody knows that he (Chouhan) chose an escapist route while not taking part in a debate on the no-confidence motion tabled against him and his government on the floor of the House," Ajay pointed out.
Besides, the government also did not reconvene the House for discussing the motion despite Governor Ram Naresh Yadav writing to the government on the issue.
Referring to groupism in the Congress, he said it is nothing new as leaders from different regions of the state have their own supporters and aspirations.
"In fact, it is persisting in a major way in the BJP where its vice president Uma Bharti, on whose strength Chouhan became the chief minister, did not bother to invite her to take part in his ongoing Janashirwad Yatra," he said.
Referring to rumours that some Congress MLAs/leaders might join the BJP in the run-up to the polls, he claimed "a season of leaving and joining parties is going on. Two to four ministers are also in touch with us."
On the BJP's allegation that by appointing Scindia, the party has distrusted a tribal (state Congress president Kantilal Bhuria), Ajay retorted by asking Chouhan to explain why the government had not appointed former Union minister Faggan Singh Kulaste as the party president earlier.
Reacting to BJP's claim that it had changed the face of the state during its nine years in power, Ajay said they should see the condition of roads to get an answer.