The 42-year-old son of late Madhavrao Scindia, was on Tuesday appointed Chairman of State Congress Election Campaign Committee with the AICC effectively handing him the onerous task of bringing the party back in power.

According to political observers, Scindia's appointment has put a challenge before BJP, which under Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, would be seeking a third consecutive term in power.

Congress is in Opposition in Madhya Pradesh since 2003 and to bring it back to power will be a crucial test for Scindia's leadership and his ability to take everyone along as the party is faction-ridden in the state.

Congress has a tradition of not projecting anyone as the Chief Ministerial candidate but the appointment of the Guna MP virtually makes him one of the top contenders for the post.

Congress leaders from the state, including Union Minister Kamal Nath and Satyavrat Chaturvedi, had on a number of occasions emphasized the need to project a young face from the party as the chief ministerial candidate.

Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh, the tallest party leader in the state, has repeatedly sought to downplay the issue of a young Chief Minister. A report from Guna on Monday evening quoted Digvijay as saying newly-elected Congress MLAs will choose their leader. His comments came before Scindia was named campaign chief.

He was reacting to media queries about Kamal Nath's remark that the state would see a "young" Congress Chief Minister. Suave and tech-savvy, Scindia is seen as a popular leader among Congress workers, especially the party's youth brigade.

In 2008 assembly elections, while the BJP successfully bagged 143 seats, the opposition Congress managed to get only 71 seats in 228 members House.


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