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Business News/ Politics / Lok Sabha Elections 2024: 7 states where Congress is marred by infighting
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Lok Sabha Elections 2024: 7 states where Congress is marred by infighting

The fissures within the Congress are visible not just in its Himachal Pradesh unit, but also in many other states, including West Bengal, Assam and Bihar

Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Man waving the flag of the Congress. (Reuters)Premium
Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Man waving the flag of the Congress. (Reuters)

The Congress infighting is no longer a secret in several states as the Lok Sabha Elections 2024 nears. The fissures within the Congress are visible not just in its Himachal Pradesh unit, but also in many other states including, West Bengal, Assam and Punjab.

Here’s a list of 7 states where the Congress faced infighting in the past few months, just ahead of Lok Sabha Elections 2024:

1. Himachal Pradesh

The Congress-led Himachal Pradesh government plunged into a crisis after six of its MLAs cross-voted in favour of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate in the Rajya Sabha elections.

High-profile leader Vikramaditya Singh resigned as minister, complaining that “MLAs were overlooked" under the Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu-led government in the state.

Singh, who is the son of Himachal Congress president Pratibha Singh, said Wednesday morning that he was submitting his resignation from the council of ministers, but hours later, he softened his stand.

2. Bihar

Two MLAs of the Congress in Bihar — Siddharth Saurav and Murari Gautam — crossed over to the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) on Tuesday.

The party, on Wednesday, sought their disqualification from the state assembly. Earlier, Congress legislative party leader Shakil Ahmed Khan said that both MLAs have also been “stripped of the party’s primary membership".

When asked about speculations of more MLAs deserting the Congress, Saurav was quoted by PTI as saying, “There will be a series (ladi lag jaane wali hai)."

3. Assam

Assam Congress working president Rana Goswami resigned from the party on Wednesday and headed to New Delhi, where he is likely to join the BJP. Goswami had on Sunday resigned as the party’s organisational in-charge of Upper Assam, citing “various political reasons".

“I beg to state that I am tendering my resignation as the working President of Assam Pradesh Congress Committee and as an active member of Indian National Congress," he was quoted by PTI as saying in the resignation letter addressed to Congress general secretary (organisation), KC Venugopal.

Leader of opposition Debabrata Saikia of the Congress told reporters that Goswami had not given any reason for quitting the party.

Goswami was a close associate of former Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi. He was elected to the assembly in 2006 and 2011 from Jorhat. He was appointed the state party’s working president in 2021.

Earlier this month, Congress MLA Kamalakhya Dey Purkayastha resigned as state working president and, along with another party legislator, Basanta Das, expressed support for the BJP-led government’s “development agenda".

4. West Bengal

West Bengal Congress leader Koustav Bagchi tendered his resignation from the party on Wednesday. He reportedly asserted that the Congress is in a ‘self-destructive mode’ and is more interested in seeing the “Trinamool Congress as its West Bengal Unit".

He said the party seems to have shifted its focus from winning the elections and rather seems to prioritise image branding.

In a letter to West Bengal Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhary, Bagchi said, “Without hesitation, I can firmly say that in the present day scenario, the Indian National Congress has lost its political character. Still being a part of the Indian National Congress would be nothing but a compromise with one’s self-respect, which I choose not to."

“I hereby tender my resignation as a Primary Member of the Indian National Congress and also from the membership of the West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee with immediate effect," the letter read.

5. Punjab

Amid the political crisis in Himachal, Punjab Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu called for an assessment of the party’s “assets and liabilities". The former Punjab unit president said the Rajya Sabha poll defeat was not just of the party candidate but had “larger" implications.

In a post on X (formerly Twitter), Sidhu said, “The Himachal fiasco calls for an assessment of assets and liabilities for the Grand Old Party??? ‘Masqueraders’ on plum posts covertly dancing to the tunes of agencies like CBI, ED and IT have spelt dooms-day for us many a times!"

Earlier in February, reports claimed that Sidhu and three other state MLAs are looking to jump ship and join the BJP.

6. Madhya Pradesh

Several Congress workers in Kamal Nath’s stronghold, Chhindwara, joined the BJP in February, PTI reported. The leaders joined the BJP in the presence of Chief Minister Mohan Yadav, who claimed that many more Congressmen would join the ruling party.

Earlier, speculation was rife that former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath could also ditch the Congress to join the BJP.

7. Maharashtra

Congress leader Milind Deora announced his resignation from the primary membership of Congress on January 14, bringing an end to his family’s 55-year association with the party.

Taking to X, Milind Deora said, “Today marks the conclusion of a significant chapter in my political journey. I have tendered my resignation from the primary membership of Congress, ending my family’s 55-year relationship with the party.…"

Later, Congress leader Baba Siddique also quit the grand old party. Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan followed suit and joined the BJP on February 13. Basavaraj Patil, who resigned from the Congress, joined the BJP on February 27.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Published: 29 Feb 2024, 06:20 AM IST
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