Even as Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi undertakes his month long “Kisan yatra” in poll bound Uttar Pradesh, his political strategist Prashant Kishor’s team seems to be upsetting the apple cart for the party instead of setting it right.
Senior Congress legislators are upset with the “bratty” behaviour of Kishor’s team members. According to sources, the team members have been assigned the task of contacting party legislators and seeking information about their preparedness for the elections.
Since the team includes young boys and girls who belong to states other than UP, they are unaware of the manner of dealing with senior politicians.
“Members of Prashant Kishor’s team call us up and talk in a manner that is highly offensive.
If they want to know how many workers we have, their names and addresses, they should first learn to be polite.
We are not answerable to private companies on our political issues,” said one of the senior most Congress MLAs. Congress MLA Vivek Singh has said, “Members from Prashant Kishor’s team call us up late at night and do not even know the name of our constituency.
I was asked how many times I have been elected from Bandra whereas the name of my constituency is Banda.
They asked for my residential address, the police circle in which my house is located and other such absurd questions.”
The MLAs said that if their credentials have to be verified, this should be done through the party’s district office bearers and not by a “team of upstarts”.
Upset by this behaviour and some other factors, eight of the 29 Congress MLAs have already left the party after Kishore’s team became active in UP.
“We are not student leaders, but senior legislators. If questions have to be asked, they can be asked in a polite and respectful manner, not in a manner that makes us feel that we are being questioned in a police station,” said one of the MLAs who has left the Congress.
He added that if Prashant Kishor’s team was not reined in, more MLAs would walk out of the party.
Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader and five term MLA, Pradeep Mathur, said that he had already sought an appointment with Congress president Sonia Gandhi and AICC general secretary in charge of UP, Ghulam Nabi Azad, to discuss this issue.
Congress MLA Pradeep Chaudhary, who joined the BJP last week, echoed similar sentiments when he said, “Why should one stay in a party where the high command remains inaccessible and outsiders behave in a manner that is humiliating?
I could not tolerate this kind of behaviour and decided to quit.
Kishore’s team members are actually ordering us what to do instead of just giving suggestions”.