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  4. OPINION | WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR EXODUS FROM CONGRESS?

OPINION | WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR EXODUS FROM CONGRESS?

In Rajasthan, 113 leaders and activists including several former ministers have left the Congress and joined BJP. In Madhya Pradesh, more than 25,000 leaders and party workers have quit the Congress to join BJP.

Written By: Rajat Sharma @RajatSharmaLive New Delhi Updated on: April 05, 2024 15:09 IST
India TV Editor-in-chief Rajat Sharma
Image Source : INDIA TV India TV Editor-in-chief Rajat Sharma

The exodus of leaders and workers from Congress is surprising.. Former Congress MP Sanjay Nirupam, party spokesperson Gaurav Vallabh and former Bihar Congress president Anil Sharma have left the party. On Wednesday, Olympic medal winning boxer Vijender Singh quit the Congress and joined BJP. In Rajasthan, 113 leaders and activists including several former ministers have left the Congress and joined BJP. In Madhya Pradesh, more than 25,000 leaders and party workers have quit the Congress to join BJP. And yet, the party leadership is unfazed over this exodus. Party leaders are saying such exodus does happen at the time of elections and it is nothing new, the main reason being denial of election tickets. In Maharashtra, Sanjay Nirupam had given a week’s ultimatum to the party high command for accepting his claim on Mumbai North-West Lok Sabha seat. In response, the high command expelled him from the party for six years. 

Nirupam claims he had put in his papers even before the expulsion order was issued. After his expulsion, Nirupam alleged that the Congress has been left at the mercy of small regional parties and the party has no future. He said, the Maha Vikas Aghadi, an alliance of three main parties Congress, Shiv Sena (UBT) and NCP (Sharad), has no future and it is on the verge of dissolution. Nirupam described MVA as a result of “the merger of loss-making units”. He described Congress as “a company having five power centers with their own coterie”. He alleged that Rahul Gandhi and Mallikarjun Kharge are presently surrounded by leaders with left ideological leanings, and this was the reason why the party boycotted the Shri Ram idol installation ceremony in Ayodhya. Congress spokesperson Gaurav Vallabh, after joining the BJP on Thursday, questioned the Congress party line of attacking and abusing wealth creators, Modi’s development work and economic policies and building of Ram temple. 

Former Bihar Congress chief Anil Sharma, after joining BJP, attacked Kharge and Sonia Gandhi. Sharma has been in Congress for last four decades. He said, the Congress leadership which claims to be following secularism is “basically anti-Hindu”, because the senior party leaders rejected the invitations to attend Shri Ram idol consecration ceremony in Ayodhya, but sent a party representative to the Vatican to attend the sainthood ceremony of late Mother Teresa. I am surprised to find leaders like Sanjay Nirupam and Gaurav Vallabh, who had been defending the Congress in television debates almost daily for the last ten years, now quitting the party. They are denouncing their own party leadership. They are saying how they felt suffocated in the party because of the weak and directionless leadership. The more surprising part is that the party high command is least worried over the exodus of leaders.  Rahul Gandhi does not appear to be worried that thousands of his party workers are deserting the Congress. Not a single senior leader in this big party tried to stop the exodus. In the last one month, more than 100 top leaders have left the party. They include, former Maharashtra CM Ashok Chavan, Naveen Jindal, Milind Deora, Baba Siddiqui, Arjun Modhwadia, Lalchand Kataria, Rajendra Yadav, Pramod Krishnav, Rohan Gupta, etc. There are, of course, hundreds of Congress leaders who silently left the party. 

In Rajasthan, 23 leaders including former ministers, ex-MPs and ex-MLAs resigned on March 10. On Wednesday, 113 Congress workers joined the BJP. In Madhya Pradesh, the situation has come to such a pass that BJP had to organize camps and erect huge tents for giving membership to deserting Congress workers. Since January 1, more than 25,000 Congress leaders and workers have joined the BJP. Naturally, these leaders and workers cannot leave a party because they were denied election tickets, nor does BJP gives tickets to one and all. The moot point is: anybody who is active in politics, wants to move ahead, test the leadership and watch which way the wind is blowing. On both these counts, the Congress appears to be weak. What Sanjay Nirupam, Gaurav Vallabh, Arjun Modhwadia have said while resigning is that they do not find any future for the Congress party. They have realized that the Congress leadership lacks the clout, that Rahul Gandhi has no vision, and his single point agenda is to oppose Narendra Modi. The Congress leaders who have joined the exodus find their future under Modi’s leadership. This appears to be the crux of the matter.

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