New Delhi: The Congress in Uttar Pradesh is facing serious rebellion in its camp after its failed attempt to establish the grand old party in the state. The party had expelled 40% of district level party leaders before and during the recent Assembly elections. Sources privy to the developments in the party said, some of the leaders themselves left the party and the others were expelled. It is in place to mention that most of the Brahmins who left the party had joined BJP and the leaders of the other castes in the party had preferred the Samajwadi Party (SP). Experts believe that the inconsistency of the Congress’ top leadership in creating a smooth hierarchy had affected the party dearly and become a cause for its fatal decline. The same inconsistency had set off a wave of defections in the party even after the elections.
Since the start of the campaigns for the Assembly elections of 2022, The Sunday Guardian was in touch with several party leaders who have been thoroughly blaming Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s team of being incapable of dealing with the grassroots issues. According to sources in the party, and a political campaign manager, many party leaders were expelled because Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s team thought these leaders will expose their corrupt activities. The Sunday Guardian called former UP president, Ajay Kumar lalu, who refused to talk on the matter. Virender Singh Guddu, former general secretary Congress, who was expelled after the elections, said, “We were expelled so that the truth does not reach Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.” He further added, “There are so many big leaders who left the party during recent elections; in Noida alone, around 50% leaders left the party, to name a few, former state secretaries Ajit Dhaola and Rajinder Ravana, Noida president Kriparam Sharma, Jagdish Sharma, Pitambar sharma, Zilla Singh Bhatti, Uday Singh Bhatti, Chavan Sharma.”
A Congress leader in one of the districts of UP said, “Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s team used to trouble party members so much that even the big leaders were compelled to leave the party like Punkaj Malik (former MLA) and Lalitesh Tripathi (former state vice president Congress).”
One of the party leaders who has been in several Congress meetings said, “When the team would come to meet the party leaders, Sandeep Chaudhary and Dhiraj Gujar would come and openly say that they won’t have a Brahmin as a district president. This raw behaviour was apparent in several places. You don’t want to have them as presidents, that is okay. But one cannot be so disrespectful about a caste, that too so openly.” Lokesh Somani, a political analyst, said, “When you change party leaders at a short notice in election time, that, too, at such a large scale, new leaders do not get time to set themselves up at the ground level, the damage of that was faced by the Congress in the elections. When they removed a district level leader and replaced another, it takes time for a leader to set up communication with people below him. Whatever directions come from the upper leaders, he has to follow them, damaging the party’s prospects on the ground.”