Sailana, Madhya Pradesh: Madhya Pradesh Congress chief Kamal Nath today took a veiled swipe at Jyotiraditya Scindia, his one-time rival in the party and now a BJP MP, over his statement that “Tiger is still alive”.
Speaking after the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government’s cabinet expansion on Thursday, Mr Scindia, whose exit from the Congress with 22 MLAs toppled the Kamal Nath government in March, said he wanted to tell Congress leaders that “Tiger abhi zinda hai.”
Speaking at a function in Ratlam district, Kamal Nath referred to the remark, and asked, “Which tiger is alive, paper tiger or a circus one?”
Kamal Nath also took digs at Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. “I am neither a maharaja nor a ‘Maama’,” he said.
Mr Scindia, who belongs to a former royal family, is sometimes called ‘Maharaja’ in state politics, while Shivraj Chouhan’s popular nickname is ‘Maama’ (uncle).
“I have not even sold tea, I am just Kamal Nath,” he said, in an apparent jibe at the Prime Minister.
“Some people say they are tigers. I am not even a tiger, but I am also not a paper tiger. Now the people of the state will decide who is who,” the Congress veteran added.
“Wherever Shivraj Chouhan goes, he makes tall announcements… He will say we have given this much money to laboureres, but during lockdown all of us have seen that they are just wandering here and there. None of them have got any money,” Kamal Nath said.
Earlier, commenting on reports of resentment within the BJP over the expansion of Shivraj Chouhan’s cabinet on Thursday during which many former Congress MLAs were inducted, Kamal Nath said it was the BJP’s internal matter.
But the Shivraj Chouhan government was a “government of bargain and the ministry of bargaining”, he said, speaking to reporters.
“Out of 33 ministers, 14 are not MLAs. Is it bargaining or not? They are bringing disrespect to Madhya Pradesh and its people in the entire country….We are feeling ashamed of the kind of politics that is going on in Madhya Pradesh,” he said.
“This kind of politics never took place in the state before,” the former Chief Minister added.
Kamal Nath visited Ratlam on Friday to unveil a statue of late social worker Prabhudayal Gehlot. “He always worked for protecting values. His work is still an example for all,” Mr Nath said during the function.