New Delhi: After former Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia quit the party on Tuesday, the Congress is in a huddle for headcount in Bhopal where the Kamal Nath led 15-month-old Madhya Pradesh government has plunged into a major crisis.
The party has been facing a ‘young vs old’ war, and Tuesday’s developments have increased the debate within further.
Kuldeep Bishnoi, who is an Congress MLA from Adampur in Haryana and has returned to the party after floating his own outfit Haryana Janhit Congress, tweeted, “India’s oldest party needs to empower young leaders who have the capacity to work hard & resonate with the masses.”
“@JM_Scindia’s departure is a big blow to @INCIndia. He was a central pillar in the party & the leadership should’ve done more to convince him to stay,” he said.
The Congress leader, who is the son of former Haryana Chief Minister Bhajan Lal, even said, “Like him, there are many other devoted INC leaders across the country who feel alienated, wasted & discontented.”
The MLA has not been in good terms with former Haryana Chief Minister and veteran Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda.
As per sources, many young leaders in the Congress are feeling disgruntled. IANS spoke to a few young guns in the Congress, and though no one wanted to come on record, in private they said that many young leaders were overlooked in the party.
The young party leaders feel alienated, especially after Scindia was overlooked for the post of Madhya Pradesh Congress chief. Similarly, Sachin Pilot, despite being the Deputy Chief Minister of Rajasthan, is being pushed by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot to give up the state President’s post, claimed a source.
Jitin Prasada is said to be unhappy as he has been denied the top party post for many years, despite commitments being made by the top leadership. He was also upset during the Lok Sabha polls, but was pacified by Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi, said a source, adding that he was also promised a Rajya Sabha seat.
The former Union minister has been a special invitee to the working committee, but one of his close aides said that his heart lay in Uttar Pradesh, where the party made Ajay Kumar Lallu the state unit chief.
When contacted, Jitin Prasada said, “I am with the party,” and disconnected the phone.
Another Congress leader, Sandeep Dikshit, is also reportedly upset with the party after being kept out of the recent Delhi Assembly polls.
He had told IANS on Monday, “Extraordinary situation demands extraordinary actions,” adding that uncertainty is costing the party dearly and the seniors should take the responsibility to elect a new President.
Milind Deora has also felt sidelined and has resigned from the post of Mumbai Regional Congress Committee President.
In Karnataka too, the government fell not just because of BJP’s engineering, but also due to the internal rift in the party, said a leader. Many blamed former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah for the collapse.
Another leader said that delay in decision making has also made the leaders restless as the party has not appointed a PCC President for more than a year in Madhya Pradesh, while the post is vacant in Karnataka. The Mumbai Regional Congress too doesn’t have a full-time chief, while Maharashtra needs a replacement after Balasaheb Vijay Thorat became a minister.
Revolt is also simmering in Uttrakhand against PCC President Pritam Singh. Many in the party felt that Rahul Gandhi did not intervene when it was required the most.