Home English News Senior Congress leaders quit party in rebellion against Rahul Gandhi!

Senior Congress leaders quit party in rebellion against Rahul Gandhi!


Rahul_Gandhi_1New Delhi, July 22 – Monday was a day of rebellion in the Congress as senior leaders in poll-bound Maharashtra and Assam quit the government while laying bare their personal ambitions in a clear signal of mutiny against vice-president Rahul Gandhi.

Maharashtra Industries Minister Narayan Rane resigned from the Prithviraj Chavan government for not being projected as the Congress chief ministerial nominee ahead of the Assembly polls scheduled in the state in yearend while Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma quit the Tarun Gogoi administration demanding that he be given the top executive job in the north-eastern state.

Though the rebellion was seen to be against Rahul’s failing leadership, senior leader Kamal Nath said there was no revolt against him. “It is not a rebellion against Rahul at all. The whole issue is some people were not happy with the chief minister.


But majority are with the chief minister,” Kamal Nath said, adding that “There is only revolt in the media”. The Congress’ problems got further compounded in Jammu and Kashmir, where Assembly polls are to be held by January 2015, as former two-term MP Lal Singh quit the party a day after the Congress formally ended its six-year-old alliance with the National Conference (NC).

rahul-gandhiThe alliance between the Congress and the NC had a strong backing of Rahul Gandhi. But the Congress vice-president is not in a similar position of strength as his party was 10 years ago. His experiment of supporting Omar Abdullah for the chief ministerial post has clearly backfired.

Rahul Gandhi’s leadership has failed to inspire confidence among the Congressmen who have started doubting his vote-catching ability. The voices of dissent have grown stronger as the authority of high command had weakened.

There have been strong voices of dissent in poll-bound Haryana as well with Rajya Sabha members Birender Singh and former Union minister Kumari Selja publicly coming out against Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.

Assembly polls in Haryana are to be held by year end. All this comes in the wake of the worst-ever Lok Sabha poll defeat for the Congress, where its tally dropped from 206 in 2009 to just 44, an indecisive top leadership which is still trying to comprehend the reasons for the poll debacle and a resurgent BJP eyeing to expand its footprint in these poll-bound states.

The Congress and NCP could win just six of the Maharashtra’s 48 Lok Sabha seats against 42 for BJP-Shiv Sena combine. In Assam, the Congress could win only three of the 14 Lok Sabha seats.

Rahul_2According to Congress insiders the party faces a “tough challenge” in these Assembly polls but has not been able to send a strong message to the rank and file on how it plans to counter the political rivals.

Worse, the Congress brass chose to ignore the rebellion which has been building up in Maharashtra and Assam after the Lok Sabha results. Officially, the Congress downplayed the resignations in Maharashtra and Assam.

“For some time these individuals have had differences. these are issues of personal ambitions. These will be dealt with as per party constitution,” Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said at an AICC briefing.

Congress sources said the party brass would only harden its stand the way rebels were asking for solutions by putting a gun to its head. They added that though a change of guard could be considered in Assam, where the next Assembly polls are two years away, changing chief ministers in Maharashtra and Haryana just months ahead of the Assembly polls will not make much political sense.