The Congress will win 20-22 seats, said former chief minister Kamal Nath on Sunday and exuded confidence that Congress will be back to power after by-elections. “I am not worried about by-elections,” said Nath whose government fell in March after 22 Congress MLAs pulled the rug from beneath and switched over to BJP. “Now, voters are aware. Although they stay quiet, they understand what is happening around them and refuse to be deceived,” he added.
Talking to reporters through video conference, Nath said he was confident that the incumbent BJP government, shored up by defected MLAs, will not survive after by-elections. “We will win 20-22 seats. Will this government be able to survive then?” he asked. He claimed that many BJP leaders are in touch with him. “When the time is right, they will come out,” he said and wondered about future of BJP leaders in Gwalior-Chambal region and the political base of those who had defected.
Calling upon chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan to extend special aid to people, he said people’s electricity and water bills should be waived off for three months. “Municipal and land tax should also be waived off for some months. The interest on loans up to Rs 1 crore taken by small industries should be waived off too,” he added.
Nath said he was upset that his government’s schemes are not taken forward. “Before politics, there is COVID-19, farmers and workers. My aim was to convert a television government into one with vision. But those who had stayed in power for 15 years are now asking us for 15 months of work record,” he remarked.
Responding to a query, he said Congress MLAs are not upset. “I hadn’t outsourced my government like the previous one but was running it on my own. We had a renewed vision,” he said responding to another query.
Expressing concern over COVID-19 situation in the state, the ex-CM dared BJP government to declare the number of ventilators, PPE kits and testing kits it had procured in last month. “There is delay in testing at least by 10 days, a period when a healthy person can easily contract the illness at a hospital,” he alleged.
Pointing out that influenza was not a regular one, he said question of preparedness was not about big cities but smaller ones. “Many workers are returning home and they unscreened,” he added.