Why are prominent faces like Jyotiraditya Scindia ditching Congress?
Jyotiraditya Scindia, a close friend of former Congress President Rahul Gandhi and ex-parliamentarian from Madhya Pradesh's Guna, left Congress recently, the party with which his association was almost two decades old. His exit embarrassed Congress and forced it to come up with a plan to retain MP. But Scindia isn't the only concern as three young leaders could also follow his footsteps, reports IE.
Unable to work, Scindia bid adieu to Congress
Yesterday, Scindia posted his resignation letter on Twitter. In the letter which was dated March 9, he told interim Congress President Sonia Gandhi he wasn't able to work for his state. Soon, several legislators tendered their resignations, spelling trouble for Chief Minister Kamal Nath's government. Scindia made the letter public on his father Madhavrao Scindia's birth anniversary, signaling he isn't quite different from him.
Like father, like son
Interestingly, in 1996, Scindia Sr. resigned from Congress, was subsequently expelled, and formed his own party, the Madhya Pradesh Vikas Congress. His party defeated Congress candidates in the next elections, forcing Congress to call a truce and convince him for homecoming in 1998.
Whenever Scindia's hopes swelled, Congress shut him down
Scindia's exit too was coming, since he was also displeased with Congress. Before the 2018 Assembly polls, Congress made Nath the state president, and after the party won MP, he was made the CM. Later, Scindia's loyalists were sidelined when cabinet ministers were announced, and those who got a berth had a constant tiff with Nath. These factors laid roots for Scindia's exit.
After 2014 debacle, several senior leaders left Congress
As it turns out, Scindia has followed a pattern. Since 2014, when Congress suffered a humiliating defeat in Lok Sabha, over 20 prominent leaders left. Former Chief Ministers Vijay Bahuguna (Uttarakhand), Ajit Jogi (Chhattisgarh) and Giridhar Gamang (Odisha) exited Congress and so did former Union ministers GK Vasan, Kishore Chandra Deo, Jayanti Natarajan, SM Krishna, Beni Prasad Verma, Srikant Jen, and Shankersinh Vaghela.
Leaders who could draw masses left Congress too
Separately, party presidents who left Congress include Ashok Tanwar, Rita Bahuguna Joshi, Botcha Satyanarayana, Bhubaneswar Kalita, Yashpal Arya, and Ashok Chaudhary. Congress couldn't hold onto leaders who gathered masses either as Himanta Biswa Sarma, current Arunachal Pradesh CM Pema Khandu, Sudip Roy Barman, and Manipur's current CM N Biren Singh ditched it. In Andhra, the entire Congress leadership has either defected to TDP, BJP, or YSRCP.
Rahul should take charge or allow someone else: Congress leader
And if young Congress leaders are to be believed, the party needs to buckle up. One leader whom IE spoke to said, "Either he (Rahul) has to come back as Congress president and lead from the front. Or, he and the Gandhi family should throw their weight behind someone who will be able to take everyone along. A signal should come from them."
Those who invested years are yearning for results
And another leader spoke about the future. "We have put in 20-odd years in the party. Most of the seniors have five-six years of active political life left. They have got everything, many are in the Rajya Sabha. But what about us?" he asked. The fact that Rahul didn't stand up for Scindia has also miffed young turks, and Congress is clearly paying now!