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Business News/ Politics / News/  As Milind Deora quits Congress, a look at the current status of Rahul Gandhi's 'Young Brigade'
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As Milind Deora quits Congress, a look at the current status of Rahul Gandhi's 'Young Brigade'

Milind Deora has become the latest member of Rahul Gandhi's hopeful ‘youth brigade’ to quit the Congress Party, despite long association and familial ties.

Milind Deora has quit the Congress to join Shiv Sena led by Eknath Shinde (File Image)Premium
Milind Deora has quit the Congress to join Shiv Sena led by Eknath Shinde (File Image)

As Milind Deora submitted his resignation from the Congress, we take a look at what was once Rahul Gandhi's close circle of “young leaders" expected to shake up the party and lead it with renewed energy.

This circle consisted of now estranged to the party Jyotiraditya Scindia, Jitin Prasada and Deora, besides those still going strong such as Gaurav Gogoi, Deepender S Hooda, and Sachin Pilot. The group of seven, including Gandhi, all have long-time generational ties to the Indian National Congress.

Also Read | Congress' Milind Deora to join Eknath Shinde-led Sena faction over seat sharing issue? Here's what he said

Jyotiraditya Scindia 

Jyotiraditya Scindia, a former union minister and once one of the most prominent young faces of the Congress party, tendered his resignation from the party's primary membership amidst high political drama in his home state of Madhya Pradesh in March 2020. He was the first of Gandhi's "young brigade" to cut ties with the party.

Scindia's resignation came as a jolt to the Congress party whose family's association with it dates back decades as his father Madhav Rao Scindia too served as a union minister under the party's regime. A three-time Lok Sabha MP, he had also played a key role in the Madhya Pradesh elections in 2018 which the party won.

"Having been a primary member of the Congress party for the past 18 years, it is now time for me to move on. I am tendering my resignation from the primary membership of the Indian National Congress and as you well know, this path has been drawing out over the last year. To reflect and realise the aspirations of my people and my workers I believe that it is best that I now look forward to a fresh start," Scindia said on March 9, 2020. Scindia joined the BJP.

Also Read | Milind Deora, 400 Congress workers to join Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde's Shiv Sena faction today

Jitin Prasada

Jitin Prasada, also a former Union minister, comes from a well-known Brahmin family in Uttar Pradesh and served as the Congress leader in charge of West Bengal before joining the BJP. His father Jitendra Prasada was a noted Congress leader. But with the Congress in dire straits in Uttar Pradesh and him losing the Lok Sabha polls twice in a row, Prasada's decision to join the BJP was viewed as a political life-saving move.

Speculation was rife even during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections of Prasada joining the BJP, but it is believed that the Congress leadership had then managed to persuade him against quitting the party. Prasada joined the BJP in June 2021. He was the second aide of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to join the BJP since Jyotiraditya Scindia's defection.

"I have a three-generation connection with Congress, so I took this important decision after a lot of deliberation. In the last 8-10 years, I have felt that if there is one truly national party, it is BJP. Other parties are regional but this is a national party. If any political party or a leader is standing for the interests of the nation today, given the situation that our country is going through, it is BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi," said Prasada.

Also Read | ‘Greed, fear’: Congress reacts as Milind Deora set to join BJP ally in Maharashtra

Milind Deora

Congress leader Milind Deora is the latest on January 14 to announce his resignation from the primary membership of Congress, bringing an end to his family's 55-year association with the party. He posted on X, “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.…"

Deora had recently expressed his displeasure over the Shiv Sena (UBT) staking a claim to the Mumbai South Lok Sabha constituency public. Irked by UBT's staking claim to Mumbai South Lok Sabha constituency, Deora last Sunday said that if such statements by an "alliance partner" don't stop, his party too can announce candidates for seats.

Milind is son of Congress veteran Murli Deora. Speaking of his political career in the party, Deora had won the Mumbai South seat in 2004 and 2009. He ended up as the first runner-up in the subsequent elections in 2014 and 2019 against Shiv Sena (Undivided) leader Arvind Sawant. He will join the Shiv Sena (Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde faction) on January 14, as per an ANI report.

Track LIVE | Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra Updates here

Sachin Pilot

As of date, Sachin Pilot's association with the grand old party seems to be going strong. He told reporters in December he is hopeful that the INDIA bloc alliance of 28 Opposition parties will defeat PM Modi-led BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha election.

But there are hints of tension. In November Pilot said that the Congress needs to introspect why it hasn't "won consecutive elections in Rajasthan for 30 years". Pilot had also said in an interview with PTI that he is following the mantra of "forgive, forget and move on" as advised by party chief Mallikarjun Kharge and former AICC president Rahul Gandhi. Earlier in June there were speculations that Pilot was weighing his options, which included setting up his political outfit.

Gaurav Gogoi

The Congress leader from Assam, Gaurav Gogoi, seems to be going strong within the party. As the Deputy Leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha and the representative for the Kaliabor constituency, he has been actively addressing the Manipur issue in Parliament. Gogoi, son of former Assam CM Tarun Gogoi, highlighted that the INDIA alliance brought a no-trust motion for Manipur, emphasizing the state's quest for justice. Notably, he took the place of Rahul Gandhi, who was initially scheduled to lead the discussion on the motion.

The party is preparing for the 'Bharat Nyay Yatra,' commencing on January 14 in Imphal, Manipur, and concluding on March 20 in Mumbai, Maharashtra. Covering 14 States and 85 districts, the Yatra aims to engage citizens across the nation. Gogoi expressed the enthusiasm of the people in the North East for the upcoming Bharat Nyay Yatra.

Gogoi remarked, "People are excited because, during the Bharat Jodo Yatra, when Rahul Gandhi couldn't come to Uttar Purvanchal, we assured them not to be disheartened. Rahul Gandhi will visit Uttar Purvanchal due to his deep affection for the people of the region."

Deepender S Hooda

Haryana politician Deepender S Hooda maintains a robust association with Rahul Gandhi and the Congress party. Recently, he joined other Congress leaders in Telangana to commemorate the party's triumph in the state assembly elections and the appointment of A Revant Reddy as CM. As a four-term MP from the Indian National Congress, Hooda currently serves as a Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha, representing Haryana. Additionally, he holds the position of a special invitee to the Congress Working Committee, the highest decision-making body of the Indian National Congress.

Belonging to the fourth generation of his family in public service, Hooda's father, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, served two terms as the Chief Minister of Haryana. His grandfather, Ranbir Singh Hooda, was a freedom fighter and a member of the Constituent Assembly, representing Rohtak in the 1st and 2nd Lok Sabha. Ranbir Singh Hooda also served as a Minister in Punjab when Haryana was part of Punjab and was a member of the Rajya Sabha. Furthermore, his great-grandfather, Choudhary Matu Ram, was a social reformer and a freedom fighter who collaborated closely with Mahatma Gandhi.

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Published: 14 Jan 2024, 11:30 AM IST
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