In what shows new signs of rebellion within the grand old party, a TOI report has revealed that the Uttar Pradesh Congress is facing a new kind of crisis- infestation by the Left.
In what has caused a rebellion within the state unit, the key posts have been suddenly taken over by those coming from radical leftist organisations such as the All India Students’ Association (AISA) and Rihai Manch.
Interestingly, this sudden invasion by the red army comes at a time when Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has been emphasising upon a revamp of the party’s Uttar Pradesh unit. The Gandhi scion’s own Personal Assistant Sandeep Singh is himself a former AISA president at JNU.
Similarly, Mohit Pandey, another former AISA functionary heads the Social Media cell of the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC). Dinesh Singh, another former AISA member is in charge of party administration in the state.
Even the more radical and terror sympathising outfit Rihai March functionaries have infested the UPCC, occupying key posts. Shahnawaz Husain is the UPCC minority cell head. Yunus Baig who is the in-charge of the party’s social media was also formerly associated with the Rihai March.
On the other hand, the Old Guard of the party has been dismantled, with several senior state leaders getting expelled, including the 87-year old Ram Krishna Dwivedi, an Indira loyalist and political heavyweight who had defeated a Chief Minister in the bypolls in the 70s.
Party veterans who have been taken aback with this sudden invasion by the left-Islamist front have shot off an angry letter to party’s disciplinary committee chief A K Antony demanding action against UPCC office bearers. One of the signatories, Siraj Mehndi said, “It’s an irony that at a time when powerful faces are deserting Congress and we want to stay and sacrifice ourselves for the party, we are not being heard.”
An Old Guard leader said, “As people from AISA and Rihai Manch have become the pivot of the party, staunch Gandhi loyalists who bore the brunt of the crackdown of anti-Congress regimes and stood by the party through thick and thin have been bundled out by none other than Indira’s granddaughter Priyanka.”
With this, a completely new kind of crisis has hit the Uttar Pradesh Congress unit. The Central leadership of the Congress was always known to be sympathetic towards radical socialists and even the red army organisations like the AISA.
Right from the days of Nehru, when a closet Commie like VK Krishna Menon was inducted in his cabinet as the Defence Minister and who was accused of showing excessive sympathy towards China during the 1962 war, the Nehru-Gandhi family has time and again associated itself with radical leftist leaders.
Even after the JNU sedition episode, Rahul Gandhi had come out in support of Kanhaiya Kumar and Umar Khalid, both of them naturally representing the leftist student organisations- AISF and DSU respectively.
However, notwithstanding the Central leadership’s nexus with the radical leftist lobby, the state units of the party were never really been dominated by the red army. With some individuals like Amarinder Singh (Punjab) in charge of state units, the state units were somewhat more connected with the grassroots. This is what also gave the Congress the image of a Centrist party tilted towards the left.
But now it seems that the red army has imposed itself on at least one state unit with Priyanka Gandhi Vadra virtually taking control of the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC). Leftist politics itself barely has any scope for survival and for some strange reason the Nehru-Gandhi family still wants to push it within the Congress. With this, a different kind of crisis has clearly hit the Uttar Pradesh Congress.