Congress crisis: Prominent leaders who left party recently
With the exit of senior Congress leader RPN Singh on Tuesday, the party has lost yet another leader from its fold days before the assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh. This is the second big exit in a few months from Congress in UP after Jitin Prasada. However, Singh and Prasada are not alone. Dozens of Congress leaders have left the party in recent years.
Why does this story matter?
- The rise of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has dented the prospects of many Opposition parties.
- Congress is the worst-affected, with its leaders often switching to the BJP or regional parties with greater visibility.
- The spree of resignations witnessed in the grand old party also reflects its dismal state in the current political scenario.
Most recent exits from Congress
Former Goa Chief Minister Luizinho Falerio had left the party in December and joined the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC). Before Falerio, Sushmita Dev, a former MP from Assam's Silchar, also joined TMC. Other Congress leaders who switched to the TMC recently include Mukul Sangma, former Meghalaya CM; former President Pranab Mukherjee's son Abhijit Mukherjee; and former Congress UP Vice President Lalitesh Tripathi.
Other key leaders who jumped ship
Jyotiraditya Scindia, a senior Madhya Pradesh Congress leader, had quit the party in 2020. He is now a Cabinet Minister in the Modi government. Veteran Congress leader Himanta Biswa Sarma had left in 2015 and is now serving as the chief minister of Assam. Congress MLA N Biren Singh had joined the BJP in 2016 and became the Manipur CM in 2017.
From Amarinder Singh to Prema Khandu
Last year, former Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh quit the Congress and founded his own party Punjab Lok Congress. Pema Khandu—who had earlier won assembly elections in Arunachal Pradesh on a Congress ticket—joined the BJP in 2016 and became the state CM. Veteran Congress leader PC Chacko also quit the party shortly before last year's Kerala elections and joined the Nationalist Congress Party.
Major exits between 2013 and 2016
Here is the list of Congress leaders who have left the party since 2013: Rao Inderjit Singh (quit in 2013), Daggubati Purandeswari (2014), Birender Singh (2014), Jagadimbika Pal (2014), GK Vasan (2014), Satpal Maharaj (2014). Jayanathi Natarajan (2015), Giridhar Gamang (2015), Abdul Gani Vakil (2015). Rita Bahuguna Joshi (2016), Vijay Bahuguna (2016), Ajit Jogi (2016), Sudip Roy Barman (2016), Harak Singh Rawat (2016).
Leaders who left between 2017 to 2019
Leaders who quit in 2017 include Shankersinh Vaghela, Narayan Dutt Tiwari, Yashpal Arya, Ravi Kishan, Barkha Shukla Singh, and Vishwajit Rane. Alexander Laloo Hek, Yanthungo Patton, and Ashok Chaudhury left the party in 2018. In 2019, Urmila Matondkar, Mausam Noor, Alpesh Thakor, Kripashankar Singh, Panabaka Lakshmi, AP Abdullakutty, Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, Bhubaneswar Kalita, Sanjay Sinh, SM Krishna, Narayan Rane, and Priyanka Chaturvedi resigned.
Leaders who resigned in the last two years
Among the key leaders that left the Congress party in the last two years are Khushbu Sundar, Govindas Konthoujam, Vijayan Thomas, A Namassivayam, VM Sudheeran, Kriti Azad, Aditi Singh, Ravi S Naik, among others.