The state units of the Congress party in all the poll-bound states are plagued by infighting, especially Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. The party has adopted an ineffective approach of not declaring the CM face in order to pacify the infighting but such step does not seem to be yielding any fruitful result. So far, the party has failed to discipline or even reprimand the openly competing factions leading to cause a much more divided leadership and confused cadre. Many Congress workers were vexed over ticket distribution and registered their protest against the party high command. Some even went to the extent of knocking the doors of the party president, Rahul Gandhi in Delhi.
In contrast, the BJP has effectively dealt with any sort of indiscipline with immediate effect. In Rajasthan, BJP has expelled its 11 rebel leaders, including former ministers, after they decided to contest elections against the BJP candidates in the upcoming state assembly elections. Expelled rebel ministers include Surendra Goyal (Jaitaran), Hem Singh Bhadana (Thanagaji), Rajkumar Rinwa (Ratangarh) and Dhan singh Rawat (Banswara). They all will be contesting as independent candidates.
Along with these ministers, sitting MLAs Anita Katara (Sagwara) and Kishnaram Nai (Sridungargarh), former MLAs Radheshyam Ganganagar, Laxminarayan and 3 other leaders were also expelled from the party, for going against the party directive and working against the decision of the top leadership. These rebel leaders have refused to withdraw their nomination papers.
Strong and bold decisions on the part of BJP will send a stern message to any leader who considers himself bigger and important than the party and goes against the party’s decision. Such bold steps keep the cadre united at a crucial time.
On the other hand, as the polling approaches near, the infighting within the party is getting intense with rebel leaders continuing to protest against the high command. While Rahul Gandhi and company continue to fight a lost battle in Madhya Pradesh, other poll-bound states seem to be slipping away quietly. In Chhattisgarh, protests erupted after the process of ticket distribution. Supporters of some Congress leaders allegedly ransacked the party offices in Raipur and Bilaspur districts and raised slogans against the party leadership over ticket distribution. Congress’s Bilaspur unit spokesperson Abhay Narayan Rai sat on a protest in front of the party office, saying that the candidate fielded by the party- Shailesh Pandey- on the Bilaspur seat was an outsider. The Firstpost has quoted Rai saying, “Had any local leader of Bilaspur been selected, they would have accepted him and the party leadership did not even discuss the name of Pandey.”
In Telangana too, party workers who were denied tickets are angry with the party leadership. Deccan Herald has quoted a party worker saying, “I have worked for Congress for 35 years. Uttam Kumar Reddy has cut my throat. Little does he know that people of the State are ready to do the same in the elections to him.”
The former Hyderabad Mayor and Congress leader Banda Karthika Reddy, along with her husband Chandra Reddy, sat in protest outside Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s residence after she was denied a ticket to contest the upcoming Telangana elections. Banda Karthika Reddy said that she was denied a ticket despite giving thirty years to the party.
Huge protest within the Congress has erupted in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan after the ticket distribution. The party is already plagued by factionalism and protests by Congress workers in these two states. The ticket distribution seems to have further exacerbated the things for the party.
For more details: Congress’ list in Madhya Pradesh epitomizes the ‘cracks’ within
Various media reports clearly indicate that the Congress party has failed to pacify infighting and it will definitely hurt its electoral outcomes in states like Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh and would continue to haunt it in 2019 general elections as well.