Madhya Pradesh Forest Minister Umang Singhar has written to interim Congress President Sonia Gandhi, accusing party colleague and former Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh of attempting to establish himself as a power centre in the state and destabilise the Kamal Nath government, The Indian Express reported on Tuesday.

This latest development came amid reports of infighting in the state Congress unit. Kamal Nath met Gandhi at her residence in Delhi last week amid reports of a tussle among various factions over the appointment of the next state president of the Congress.

“He [Digvijaya] is writing letters to ministers and releasing them on social media giving a handle to the Opposition to target CM Kamal Nath and his government,” Singhar wrote.

The minister was referring to Digvijaya Singh’s letters to ministers, including his son and Urban Development and Housing Minister Jaivardhan Singh, asking them to apprise him of the progress of transfers and development projects he had recommended to them in letters action sent between January and August 15, The Hindu reported. He also asked for appointments with them before August 31 for a follow-up.

Singhar accused Singh of running the government by proxy, and pointed out there was no need for him to write such letters when he could easily get in touch with the ministers.

“Ministers are accountable to the chief minister,” the minister wrote. “Singh is a member of the Rajya Sabha. His writing letters to ministers and seeking account of transfers and posting is improper. This could prompt other Members of Parliament and leaders to write similar letters and seek account. If such a tradition is established, how will ministers do their official work and implement welfare schemes?’’

Nath did not react to Singhar’s comments but said everyone knew he was running the government. The Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party said the infighting within the Congress was indicative of a constitutional crisis in the state. Former state minister Vishwas Sarang alleged it was not uncommon for Congress governments to be run by proxy, citing Manmohan Singh’s tenure as an example.

State BJP chief Rakesh Singh said the Kamal Nath government would fall under the weight of its own contradictions.

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