Nagpur: A hot political debate as well as speculations started taking rounds soon after the former Minister of State Rajendra Mulak assumed charge as President of Nagpur District (Rural) Congress Committee on Sunday. A number of Congress leaders from city and Delhi as well marked their presence at the programme. But one leader was conspicuous by his absence. Sunil Kedar, the Saoner MLA. In fact he is the only MLA of the party in Nagpur District. The absence of Kedar sparked murmurs as well as open discussion in political circles. The focus of this debate was: Is Kedar being sidelined deliberately by the local party leaders or it was a political game-plan?
The sifting of discussions revealed that the Saoner MLA was craving for the post but the party high command had other plans. And accordingly, Rajendra Mulak was bestowed with the responsibility and Sunil Kedar was snubbed despite he being active in the Nagpur district politics since years. On the other hand, Mulak is naïve and will take time to understand the nitty-gritty of rural politics and also sense the pulse of party workers and leaders. Kedar could be seen mingling in rural areas around the year while Mulak is bang opposite of the tactics. The Saoner MLA is followed by huge number of partymen. Mulak has a select group of hardcore supporters. But the one fact that favoured Mulak to climb the post of President of Nagpur District (Rural) Congress Committee is the ‘trust’ of party high command as well as its cadre.
The fallout of Mulak taking the reins of rural Congress could be ‘disapproval’ of his leadership by the sulking Kedar and his group of supporters. The first signs of this fallout was seen in the absence of Kedar at the programme where Mulak took charge of his charge. The Congress party desisted itself from clearing the air on Kedar’s absence and also on whether he was invited or pacified of ‘hurt feelings.’ Only one local leader Vilas Muttemwar publicly accepted of trying to pacify the ruffled feathers of Kedar despite knowing the fact that Kedar had left no stone unturned to ensure his defeat in the last Lok Sabha poll.
However, it will not be an easy path for Mulak, too, to tread on the areas where Kedar holds his clout. Saoner, Kalmeshwar, Parshioni and few other pockets are under the clout of Kedar. But Mulak too is a veteran Congressman and a ‘smart’ politician. And the first test of his acumen would be the coming Zilla Parishad, Municipal Council elections in which the new DCC President will have to fight the rivals within and outside equally and politically to ensure victory for Congress.
– Rajeev Ranjan Kushwaha ( firstname.lastname@example.org )