The Congress has dropped its prominent members of G-23, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Manish Tewari from the list of star campaigners it issued on February 4 ahead of the Punjab Assembly Elections. This has done anything but indicated the internal rift of the Congress party in India.
The list includes Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi, Navjot Singh Sidhu, Ashok Gehlot, Bhupesh Baghel and many more Congress leaders from different states but does not include senior leader Ghulam Nabi Azad and Lok Sabha MP from the state Manish Tewari.
Azad and Tewari, the members of Congress G-23 had questioned the leadership in Congress and written to Sonia Gandhi seeking an overhaul in view of the frequent failures of the party. In August 2020, the letter had demanded immediate and active leadership and to rearrange the organisational structure of the party.
Ghulam Nabi Azad has recently been conferred with Padma Bhushan by the Modi government. But the party seems to have taken the stand as Azad continues to defy Congress’ stand on several occasions.
Manish Tewari meanwhile has sarcastically censured the Congress’ decision saying that the reasons of his exclusion are no more secret. “I would have been pleasantly surprised if it would have been the other way around. The reasons are also no state secret”, he said.
I would have been pleasantly surprised if it would have been the other way around.— Manish Tewari (@ManishTewari) February 5, 2022
The reasons are also no state secret 🤪https://t.co/fYBScKBRYY
The core part of concern forms regarding exclusion of Manish Tewari, the Hindu face who has won from the Anandpur Sahib seat. While there are around 40 per cent of Hindus in the state, earlier another Hindu face of the party Sunil Jakhar, was also sidelined for the post of Chief Minister despite having the support of 42 MLAs.
Jakhar had complained that he was not considered during change of guard after Captain Amarinder Singh stepped down in September last year, only because he was a Hindu. However, Jakhar sees himself in the list of star campaigners for Punjab polls today.
The 2022 Punjab Legislative Assembly elections are scheduled to be held on February 20 to elect the 117 members of the 16th Assembly. The votes will be counted and the results will be declared on March 10.