Congress turning into a divided house due to infighting among leaders

By By Siddharth Sharma

New Delhi [India], Jun 09 (ANI): While the Congress has always maintained that no crisis is going on within the party after facing defeat in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections, the real picture is quite different from what they are claiming.

The Congress party units across the country are getting into an internal tiff instead of analysing the reasons behind losing the poll battle.

The Congress was badly defeated in the Hindi belt states in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Congress leaders in most of the states have started getting into an argument with each other over the defeat.

It is worth mentioning that Congress President Rahul Gandhi has so far not opened up about the ongoing misery happening within the party.

As per reports, internal tiffs are also going on in Jammu and Kashmir after the Congress's drubbing in the state in Lok Sabha polls for which, the party has blamed the National Conference. Congress had alleged that Farooq and Omar Abdullah did not campaign for the party in Jammu.

Two AICC meetings to analyse the reasons behind defeat went inconclusive. In fact, the meeting of Ambika Soni and Ghulam Nabi Azad with states leaders was also postponed. According to sources, the state leaders want a change in leadership while a faction has also proposed an offer to divide state Congress into three parts.

In Punjab, state cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu has always been critical against Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh. Actor-turned-politician Sidhu has denied taking charges of the new post given to him in the cabinet. Sidhu, who has been under fire from Captain Amarinder for the Congress' poor performance in urban areas, was given Power and Energy Sources Ministry.

The tension between the two Congressmen had also come out in the open on a few occasions in the past.

In Punjab, Congress won eight parliamentary seats out of 13 while four seats went to BJP-Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) alliance and AAP bagged a seat- Sangrur.

In Rajasthan, many leaders and MLAs have come out against Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, which led to the internal conflict within the Congress unit in the state. The Congress that had won 99 out of 200 seats in state Assembly polls last year and formed the government with the support of its pre-poll ally Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), failed to open its account in the recently-concluded general elections. Chief Minister Gehlot's son Vaibhav had contested from Jodhpur Assembly seat but lost to BJP's Gajendra Singh Shekhawat by a margin of 2.74 lakh votes. The Chief Minister had extensively campaigned for his son after which Congress President lashed out at Gehlot for ignoring the rest of the state during crucial polls. Meanwhile, supporters of Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot have demanded a change in the leadership.

Following Congress' crushing defeat in the Lok Sabha polls, Haryana which is going to Assembly elections in three months is also facing trouble within the party. Many leaders are seeking the removal of the party's state chief Ashok Tanwar and renewed fighting in the ranks. Haryana former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda convened a meeting at his residence in New Delhi.

Speaking to ANI, Hooda said, "The meeting was called to discuss the future course of action for upcoming Haryana Assembly elections. It was decided to fight the polls unitedly. But it is surprising that state party chief Ashok Tanwar was not present in the meeting nor Congress Legislative Party chief Kiran Chaudhary."

The internal bickering, which had been brewing within the party for long, came out in the open in the Congress war room when Tanwar had a verbal spat with senior leaders after MLA Jaitirath Dahiya wrote to Rahul Gandhi against him.

Trouble turned intense in the Congress's Haryana unit due to the debacle in general elections where the party failed to win a single seat out of a total of 10 Lok Sabha constituencies in the state.

Haryana, where 90-Assembly seats are at stake, is scheduled to go to polls in October this year.

In Maharashtra, a post of Congress MLA is still vacant after Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, resigned from it. Post the Lok Sabha drubbing, Maharashtra Congress chief Ashok Chavan, too, had offered his resignation. The development has come after the party's poor performance in the general elections and months before the Maharashtra Assembly polls.

The current developments are likely to dent the Congress's bid in the Maharashtra Assembly polls.

In Jharkhand, taking responsibility for the defeat in the polls, Congress' state party President Ajay Kumar also offered to resign from the party post. Congress had fought on seven seats in alliance with the JMM, RJD and JVM-P in the polls. Congress won the Singhbhum seat and JMM won the Rajmahal seat. The situation in the state became tenser after when Jharkhand Pradesh chief PN Singh went to the party office to discuss the reasons behind polls debacle but faced outrage by the supporters.

As exit polls predicted a thumping majority for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Karnataka, Roshan Baig hit out at the state Congress leadership and party in-charge KC Venugopal.

In a major setback to the ruling Congress-JD(S) coalition government in Karnataka in the recent elections, the BJP won 25 parliamentary constituencies out of a total of 28. Congress was left with just one seat.

Rahul Gandhi, who became the party president in 2017, offered to step down from his post at the CWC meeting on May 25, taking moral responsibility for Congress' dismal performance in the 17th general elections.

However, his resignation offer was unanimously rejected by the CWC.

So far, several top leaders have met Gandhi and urged him to continue to lead the party.

The Congress won 52 seats in the recent general elections, which is just eight more than 2014 in the outgoing Lok Sabha. (ANI)