With the crisis unfolding in Rajasthan, Punjab and Maharashtra, trouble seems to mount for the Congress party in the eastern state of Jharkhand as well after Chief Minister Hemant Soren, who camped for four days in Delhi, could not get an audience from either Congress chief Sonia Gandhi or senior leader Rahul Gandhi.
Interestingly, while Soren was waiting for a meeting, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul found time to meet the new Tamil Nadu chief minister MK Stalin, the chief of DMK, which is an ally of the Congress party in Tamil Nadu. This has not gone down well for the JMM chief, sources quoted by The Daily Pioneer claimed.
“Hemant returned to Ranchi on Saturday. He had been repeatedly making attempts to call on Sonia and Rahul but failed. The snub has not gone down well with the JMM. Moreover, their meeting with Stalin has only rubbed salt to the wound,” the Daily Pioneer reported.
Hemant Soren is the chief of JMM, a regional party that is in power in Jharkhand in alliance with the Congress party. Hemant had sought an audience with the members of the Gandhi dynasty, presumably to discuss the positions to be filled for the vacant cabinet berths, a possible reshuffle in the Council of Ministers, appointments to corporations, and other things.
“Such developments do not augur well for the coalition when there has always been an air of mistrust among the two major coalition partners. Particularly, given the buzz of a possible BJP-JMM alliance, that keeps the Congress and the RJD on their toes. Or for that matter, the BJP getting a sizeable MLAs of the JMM and the Congress to resign just as it did in several States,” sources further said.
Besides the Jharkhand CM, Jharkhand Congress chief and Finance Minister in Hemant’s government, Rameshwar Oraon, was also in Delhi to “discuss” party affairs with the Gandhi dynasts, along with deliberating on appointments in corporations and commissions etc. It is worth noting that both JMM and Congress state unit have staked claim to the vacant 12th cabinet berth in the Hemant’s government in Jharkhand.
Along with the CM, the JMM has five ministers while the Congress has four, and the other ally RJD one ministerial berth. Hemant and Oraon were supposed to have participated in the meeting with the top Congress leadership to iron out the differences on all pending issues.
While sources claim Hemant is aggrieved about Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi not taking time to meet him, it is notable to mention that he is not the only one who has been slighted by the mother-son duo. In the past too, there have been a host of Congress leaders who were snubbed by the Gandhi family members by denying them an audience, inevitably forcing them to leave the party.
Congress MLA in Assam Rupjyoti Kurmi leaves Congress, cites Rahul Gandhi as the reason for his departure
Earlier yesterday, Rupjyoti Kurmi, a 4 times Congress MLA from Assam’s Mariani constituency, expressed his disgruntlement with the Congress leadership. In a scathing attack against the Gandhi scion, Kurmi said that Rahul Gandhi likes the company of dumb people and his dog. On June 18, Kurmi resigned from the Congress party, saying he is “frustrated and disillusioned” with the leadership of Rahul Gandhi.
Kurmi later joined the BJP in the presence of Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma who had himself resigned from Congress in 2015 under similar circumstances. Sarma tweeted that Kurmi is a prominent leader from the tea-tribe community in Assam and will be a welcome addition in the BJP.
We welcome Sri Rupjyoti Kurmi to BJP family.— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) June 21, 2021
A prominent leader from Tea – Tribe Community & 4-term MLA, he has always been working for uplift of poor & development of the region.@BJP4Assam shall immensely gain from his experience. Best wishes 💐@BJP4India @JPNadda pic.twitter.com/lJC4hYt1Vd
Jyotiraditya Scindia resigned from Congress after he was sidelined by the Gandhi family
In March 2020, Jyotiraditya Scindia was expelled from the Congress party just minutes after he tweeted his resignation to Sonia Gandhi. Scindia tendered his resignation after he had grown weary of the Congress leadership’s inaction to the demands raised by him. Scindia had written to Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi about the party reneging on its promises as per poll manifesto in Madhya Pradesh among other things. However, despite flagging issues to the Gandhi family, the Congress party leadership reportedly dragged its feet and showed little gumption to address his concerns.
Another factor was the Congress top brass snubbing Scindia for a leadership role in Madhya Pradesh. Scindia was also reportedly promised by the Congress leadership of a Rajya Sabha seat but it did not materialise. With his demands being sidelined and him being treated badly, Scindia finally took the plunge of resigning from the party and joining the BJP.
Himanta Biswa Sarma left Congress due to Rahul Gandhi’s behaviour
Former Congress stalwart Himanta Biswa Sarma, who is now the Assam chief minister in the BJP government, had resigned from the party citing the prevailing dynastic culture in Congress. In September 2015, when he parted ways with the Congress party, Sarma said that “family-centric” politics and “lack of democracy” in the Congress forced him to quit.
Two years later when Rahul Gandhi shared a video of his pet dog on Twitter, Himanta Biswa Sarma revealed how the Gandhi scion was busy feeding biscuits to his pet while he and others wanted to discuss pressing issues in Assam.
Sir @OfficeOfRG,who knows him better than me.Still remember you busy feeding biscuits 2 him while We wanted to discuss urgent Assam’s issues https://t.co/Eiu7VsuvL1— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) October 29, 2017
While the deluded Congress supporters believe that the Gandhi family has a salutary effect on the party, it does not seem like the party leaders share similar sentiments. Most of the disgruntled Congress leaders, especially those who resigned from the party, have held the Gandhis responsible for the terrible fate that the Congress finds itself in. Congress seems to be circling the drain as it confronts crises in Punjab, Rajasthan, Maharashtra among its own party cadre and alliance partners.
As per recent reports, in Jharkhand, Congress may as well have another disgruntled alliance partner.