Lok Sabha elections 2024: Resignations of the 'powerless’ and a Congress that keeps disappointing | Mint
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Business News/ Politics / Lok Sabha elections 2024: Resignations of the 'powerless’ and a Congress that keeps disappointing
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Lok Sabha elections 2024: Resignations of the 'powerless’ and a Congress that keeps disappointing

Milind Deora's departure from the Congress reflects the party's failure to address the grievances of its young leaders. This trend has also been seen in the resignations of Jyotiraditya Scindia, RPN Singh, and Jitin Prasada.

(From left to right) Sachin Pilot, Jyotiradiya Scindia, RPN Singh, Milind Deora and Jitin Prasada, who used to be the young brigade of Rahul Gandhi. Except for Sachin Pilot, the remaining members of this cohort have left the Congress. (Twitter)Premium
(From left to right) Sachin Pilot, Jyotiradiya Scindia, RPN Singh, Milind Deora and Jitin Prasada, who used to be the young brigade of Rahul Gandhi. Except for Sachin Pilot, the remaining members of this cohort have left the Congress. (Twitter)

A few months before the countdown begins for the Lok Sabha elections 2024 and Milind Deora's exit has reignited past grievances, underlining how the Congress keeps disappointing its young leaders. The resignation saga, mostly of those who have been closer to Rahul Gandhi, not only underlines the "unaddressed" concerns among the young leaders within the Congress, but also that the exits happened when some of them lost power.

Milind Deora was part of the youthful cohort who were considered close to Rahul Gandhi. Among those were Jyotiraditya Scindia, Sachin Pilot, RPN Singh and Jitin Prasada. Except for Sachin Pilot, the remaining members of this cohort have either joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) or aligned themselves with other political affiliations. But one thread that bound them together is the "disagreements" they have had within the Congress.

JYOTIRADITYA SCINDIA

Currently a Union minister in the NDA alliance government, Jyotiraditya Scindia resigned from the Congress in March 2020 with 22 MLAs and joined the BJP, precipitating the collapse of the Kamal Nath-led government in Madhya Pradesh and making way for the saffron party to take over the reins. After the resignation, Jyotiraditya Scindia said he couldn't take the "disrespect" anymore.

In 2019, Jyotiraditya Scindia lost the Guna seat to BJP's Krishna Pal Singh Yadav. Jyotiraditya Scindia's resignation came at a time when the young leader was serving as General Secretary in-charge for Uttar Pradesh West.

MILIND DEORA

Milind Deora left the Congress on January 14 and joined Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena for "development". Breaking the 55-year-old ties that his father Murli Deora nurtured over the years, Milind Deora justified his decision, alleging that the Congress had deviated from its ideological and organisational roots, "fostering" caste divisions, and targeting businesses.

The bone of contention was reportedly the Mumbai South seat which is currently being held by Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) leader Arvind Sawant. Milind Deora has lost the Mumbai South constituency in 2014 and 2019 to Arvind Sawant twice. In 2019, Milind Deora also resigned as the Mumbai Congress party president.

Milind Deora was reportedly sulking since Congress' ally Shiv Sena (UBT) staked a claim on the Mumbai South parliamentary constituency for the upcoming elections.

JITIN PRASADA

Jitin Prasada, ex-UPA minister and Congress' prominent Brahmin face in Uttar Pradesh, quit the Congress in June 2021 citing the party's growing "disconnect" with the people. Explaining why, Jitin Prasada said, “I left the Congress not due to any individual or for any post. The reason I left the Congress was because there is a rising disconnect between the party and the people. And that is the reason, its vote share is shrinking in Uttar Pradesh and there is no plan to revive the party."

Jitin Prasada was one of the leaders of the G-23 group who wrote to then interim Congress president Sonia Gandhi, seeking major reforms within the party.

Jitin Prasada contested the Lok Sabha elections in 2004 from Shahjahanpur and won. In 2009, he fought and won the parliamentary elections from Dhaurahra constituency. The young leader lost the subsequent Lok Sabha polls from Dhaurahra and also lost in the 2017 UP elections.

RPN SINGH

Ratanjit Pratap Narain Singh or RPN Singh, a well-known OBC face for the Congress, quit the party in January 2022 and joined hands with the BJP ahead of the UP Assembly election. After joining the BJP, RPN Singh said the ideology of the Congress has changed, deviating from what it was when he initially joined. RPN Singh was one of the few leaders who had spoken against the Congress’ stand on the Centre’s decision to abrogate Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).

RPN Singh had won the Kushinagar constituency in 2009 but lost in 2014 and 2019 to Rajesh Pandey and Vijay Kumar Dubey, respectively, of the BJP. In 2020, RPN Singh was appointed the AICC in-charge of Jharkhand. In January 2022, RPN Singh quit the party and joined the BJP.

When Sachin Pilot rebelled against Ashok Gehlot

Ashok Gehlot’s government had faced a rebellion led by his bete noire Sachin Pilot in 2020, pushing the Congress government to the brink of collapse. Sachin Pilot and his 18 loyalists holed up together at a hotel on the outskirts of Jaipur and then at a Jaisalmer hotel until the Congress leadership intervened.

That rebellion cost Sachin Pilot his seat as Rajasthan deputy chief minister and state Congress chief. During the rebellion, Sachin Pilot said he felt “marginalised" as part of the government and had even flagged it to the central leadership.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chanchal
Chanchal is a chief content producer at LiveMint. Chanchal is obsessed with Google incognito. She likes writing, politics, Oxford comma, Eddie Vedder, and a good keyboard. Follow her @chanchaltracks. If you have a story idea, send her a mail at chanchal@htdigital.in
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Published: 15 Jan 2024, 07:49 PM IST
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