Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab and now J&K, Congress woes see no end

From prominent faces like Sushmita Dev and Jitin Prasada jumping ship to a mass exodus in Uttar Pradesh, the Congress party has gone through crisis after crisis this year.

FP Staff Rohini Chatterji November 18, 2021 10:56:08 IST
Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab and now J&K, Congress woes see no end

Sonia and Rahul Gandhi in a file photo. AFP

Congress’ woes, even as it faces tough battles in the upcoming 2022 elections in key states like Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, seem to have no end with the party seeing a mass exodus, now in Jammu and Kashmir.

At least 20 Congress members, considered close to Ghulam Nabi Azad, are said to have put in their resignations in what comes as a big blow to the Grand Old Party in the state.

In a resignation letter addressed to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and in-charge Secretary, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajni Patil, the leaders have objected to the way that Pradesh Congress Committee president G A Mir was leading the party in the state. They said, according to The Indian Express, that Mir was leading the party to disaster.

The newspaper reported that among the prominent names who have quit the Congress include Ghulam Nabi Monga, Naresh Gupta, Mohammad Amin Bhat, Subash Gupta, GM Saroori, Vikar Rasool, state Congress vice-president Anwar Bhat and former district president, Anyatullah Rather.

This comes at a time when the Congress has not only seen several prominent leaders quitting the party across the country, but also has seen public factional fights among party members in some states.

Exodus in Uttar Pradesh

Several prominent names from the Congress in Uttar Pradesh have left the party over what they call it the failure of the senior party leadership. In August this year, senior party members Shailendra Singh and Rajesh Singh sent their resignations to Sonia Gandhi accusing the party of neglecting old and loyal leaders.

This was followed by the exit of Uttar Pradesh Congress vice-president and former MLA Lalitesh Pati Tripathi in September. He too had the same gripe — he felt that he was neglected. He has now joined the Trinamool Congress (TMC).

In October Uttar Pradesh party vice-president and former MLA Gayadeen Anuragi and former party MLA Vinod Chaturvedi quit the party to join the Samajwadi Party. Later in the month, former MP Harendra Malik and his son Pankaj too resigned.

Prominent national faces leave

Not just state politicians, the Congress has been losing prominent national faces to other parties as well. Jitin Prasad, who was an Uttar Pradesh cabinet minister, quit the party to join the BJP. This was a big jolt after the departure of Jyotiraditya Scindia in Madhya Pradesh.

In August, the party saw yet another big loss with former Silchar MP Sushmita Dev leaving to join the TMC.

Punjab, Rajasthan crisis

Months before Punjab is headed to polls, Captain Amarinder Singh resigned as the chief minister of the state saying the party high command had no faith in him. “Apparently they (Congress high command) do not have confidence in me and did not think I could handle my job. But I felt humiliated at the manner in which they handled the whole affair… Let them appoint who they trust,” he said while resigning.

While Charanjit Channi was appointed the chief minister, Navjot Singh Sidhu was appointed Pradesh Congress Committee chief. It is said that while the former cricketer wanted the top post for himself, he also wasn’t happy with the cabinet appointments. Sidhu has now taken back his resignation but says he won’t come back until a new advocate general has been appointed. The Congress may have been able to douse the fire for now, but all isn’t well yet in Punjab.

The pot is boiling in the Rajasthan Congress as well as the party plans a cabinet rejig in the state. And Sachin Pilot and chief minister Ashok Gehlot reportedly don’t see eye to eye on it.
Both Pilot and Gehlot have met Sonia Gandhi in Delhi, triggering speculations of a crisis.

However, The Hindu reported that a truce may be in sight though. The report quoted Pilot saying earlier this week, “There are a few vacancies in the State Cabinet which need to be filled and a balance needs to be set.” Pilot also hoped that the cabinet appointments would be made keeping his experience in mind.

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