In yet another big set back to the Congress in Uttar Pradesh, Priyanka Gandhi's advisor former MLA Harendra Malik and vice-president Pankaj Malik have quit the party. According to sources, the father-son duo is expected to join the Samajwadi Party and is said to have a vote-base in western UP.
While Harendra Malik was elected to Rajya Sabha from National Lok Dal Party Haryana in 2005, Pankaj has been MLA twice. From the Congress side, he became MLA from Baghra seat in 2007. After this, in 2012, he was elected MLA from Shamli seat. At present, he was the state vice-president of Congress and in-charge of western Uttar Pradesh.
The Malik family are residents of Muzaffarnagar. According to reports, Harendra and Pankaj Malik can be with Akhilesh Yadav on the stage on October 22, where the former CM is expected to hold a rally.
After resigning from the Congress party, Harendra Malik accused people close to Priyanka Gandhi of hijacking the party.
Priyanka was to start the 'Pratigya Yatra' from Saharanpur from October 17, but this program could not start due to lack of support from the Congress leaders of the area. There is also a big discussion that Congress leader Imran Masood, who lives in Saharanpur, can also leave the party. He has said many times that only Samajwadi Party can defeat BJP in UP.
The Congress on Tuesday announced that it will give 40 per cent tickets to women in the upcoming assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh, a step which was hailed as game changer by the party leaders. The Congress party seeks to target the other half of the population by this announcement.