New Delhi, July 24, 2020 –
As the political crisis faced by the Congress in Rajasthan played out in the court and the state Governor’s residence on Friday, party insiders and well-wishers were debating why members of Team Rahul were leaving it or feeling sidelined.
On Thursday, Congress’ Adampur MLA Kuldeep Bishnoi — younger son of former Haryana Chief Minister and a party stalwart, late Bhajan Lal — claimed that he too had suffered a lot because he believed that Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi are his leaders.
Even Sachin Pilot — who was removed as Deputy Chief Minister and Rajasthan PCC President — had alleged that he not being taken into confidence in important party matters.
Congress sources said that the reason is that after Rahul Gandhi resigned from as party chief after the debacle in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, he had stopped backing anybody and now the young leaders within the Congress were not able to handle the shrewd move of veterans.
Ashok Tanwar, a former Haryana Congress chief who quit the party last year, said: “I rose in politics as a member of Rahul Gandhi’s young team and he made me the party unit chief after it was decimated in the 2014 elections; but when I was pushed aside and I didn’t get his backing, I left.”
Madhya Pradesh Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia — now a BJP Rajya Sabha MP — led a revolt against then Chief Minister Kamal Nath as he allegedly could not get an audience with Rahul Gandhi. Sources said that Rahul Gandhi has stopped interfering in day-to-day affairs of the Congress, leaving his young supporters within the party in the lurch.
In the Pilot case too, Rahul Gandhi moved in late. By then, Pilot had already moved with his flock of MLAs to a Haryana Hotel.
Asked why young leaders like Pilot, said to be close to Rahul Gandhi, were leaving the party, special observer to Rajasthan Congress Ajay Maken shot back: “Has he left the party?”
Maken said that a party post should not be the key for association with the Congress, but ideology. “Even I had serious differences in the Delhi Congress; I do not hold any post at present,” the former Union Minister said.
Tanwar, who is mulling to launch a regional outfit, said: “The older lot (veteran Congressmen) will leave Rahul Gandhi without any followers if young talent is not nurtured. These leader will be the flag-bearers of the party in states.”
Bishnoi demanded that young and mass leaders within the Congress be promoted and those who had not contested elections in the last 30 years be shown the door. (Agency)
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