After a long wait, the Congress released its first list of candidates for the Rajasthan Assembly elections. Former chief minister and senior Congress leader, Ashok Gehlot, will contest from Sardarpura constituency in Jodhpur while Rajasthan Congress president and Sachin Pilot will contest the elections from Tonk. With the release of first list, many Congress workers started protesting against the party high command over the ticket distribution in Rajasthan.
On Thursday, many angry workers vexed over ticket distribution knocked the doors of the party president, Rahul Gandhi’s house in Delhi. Workers of several seats, including Nandabai, Basseeri, Churu, Bharatpur reached to meet Rahul Gandhi but police stopped them outside his residence. When the workers failed to meet Rahul Gandhi, they sat on a ‘Dharna’. However they were detained by the police later. Protesting workers were demanding: “Instead of parachute candidates, request him to give tickets to those who gave blood & toil to Congress”.
Delhi: Congress workers who had gathered outside residence of party President Rahul Gandhi after list of candidates for #RajasthanElections2018 was released tonight,detained;say"Instead of parachute candidates, request him to give tickets to those who gave blood&toil to Congress" pic.twitter.com/gv0NJIzVEG
— ANI (@ANI) November 15, 2018
The Congress workers protesting outside Rahul Gandhi’s residence said that the Congress president talks about empowering the youth but ignores them while distributing tickets.
The workers further accused the leadership of selling seats. They further alleged that the party fielded parachute candidates on many seats at the altar of ground workers working for years. This is a grievance with which Congress workers of other states are also familiar with.
Similar protests also erupted in Chhattisgarh after the ticket distribution for the upcoming state assembly polls. Supporters of some Congress leaders allegedly ransacked the party offices in Raipur and Bilaspur districts and also 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.”
On Thursday, 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.
As the polling approaches near, the infighting within the party is getting intense by the day. While Rahul Gandhi and company continue to fight a lost battle in Madhya Pradesh, other poll-bound states seem to be slipping away quietly.