Though Uttar Pradesh’s Rae Bareli, the Gandhi family’s pocket borough, was the only saving grace for the Congress party which suffered a huge embarrassment during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, things may not be same for the party in the upcoming Panchayat elections. According to reports, 35 office bearers including former Congress secretary and former district in-charge and current PCC member Shiv Kumar Pandey have come out in open rebellion after being ignored by party leaders and sent in their resignation to Congress leader and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.
Shiv Kumar Pandey and the other rebel members are miffed purportedly by the formation of the party’s new executive set up at the block level. They have opined that the district president and other district-level officials have been working to weaken the party. They accused the party of not giving the due importance to the party’s old gaurds and instead choosing the younger and inexperienced leaders for the important posts of the block.
Though there is no confirmation whether the resignations have been accepted or not, people are of the opinion that this might be a redux of the embarrasment Congress party faced in Rahul Gandhi’s bastion Amethi in 2019.
Congress will lose Rae Bareli in 2024 just like they lost Amethi: Union Minister Smriti Irani
In fact, a day before senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi took off for a vacation to Milan, Union Minister Smriti Irani who emerged as a giant slayer, defeating the Gandhi scion from the Amethi Lok Sabha seat in 2019 General Assembly elections, warned of a similar fate awaiting another Congress pocket borough, Rae Bareli, in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
The appalling performance in Bihar Assembly elections last year had led to a fresh flare-up within the party, with the senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal publicly commenting that the time for introspection is over. Following Congress’ disappointing performance in Bihar, 23 senior Congress leaders had reportedly written a letter to interim Congress President Sonia Gandhi demanding that an immediate CWC meeting be called to discuss the poll debacle in Bihar. They have reportedly also demanded organisational elections for the party president’s post be held at the earliest in the view of the electoral drubbing. They had also raised questions on the vacation by Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Vadra.