Congress is witnessing a mass exit of young and aspirational exit leaders, thanks to the ineffective leadership of Rahul Gandhi. The latest to resign from Congress is Rupjyoti Kurmi, an influential tea-tribe leader who has been a four-time MLA. He blamed the ineffective leadership of Rahul Gandhi for the loss in five states in the recent assembly elections.
“When Rahul Gandhi was not in the party and Sonia [Gandhi] took the leadership of the party in 2003, then an atmosphere was created for the Congress in the country. In 2004, the Congress came into power at the Centre,” Rupjyoti Kurmi said.
He said Congress has been in bad shape since Rahul Gandhi took the front seat. “Rahul Gandhi is unable to shoulder leadership. If he’s at the helm, the party won’t move forward,” Rupjyoti Kurmi was quoted by news agency ANI as saying.
This is the second big exit from the Congress party in the last few days. Jitin Prasada, a young Congress leader from Uttar Pradesh with a rich family legacy left the party to join BJP a few days ago. Kurmi is also a “born Congressman” as his ancestors held senior positions including ministership in the previous Congress governments. Kurmi is also expected to join BJP in presence of the Assam chief minister who also happens to be a former Congressman, Himanta Biswa Sarma.
“My mother was a three-time MLA and was also a minister. She died in 2004. I was denied the party ticket to contest in the bye-polls. The party gave me a ticket in 2006. I have been elected to the Assam Assembly from the Mariani constituency since 2006. I have now realised that the party leadership doesn’t hear the voice of small communities and party workers,” Rupjyoti Kurmi said.
Kurmi also said that Congress’s decision to ally with the AIUDF was a “big mistake” and it was very well known that if the party allies with a pro-immigrant outfit, it will lose badly in Upper Assam.
I'm leaving Congress as High Command in Delhi & Guwahati leaders give priority to elderly leaders only. We'd told them Congress has good chance of coming to power this time & we shouldn't forge alliance with AIUDF as it would be a mistake. It indeed was: Assam MLA Rupjyoti Kurmi pic.twitter.com/kknIWOHUzM
— ANI (@ANI) June 18, 2021
“I belong to the tea-tribe community and we told the party leadership that the Congress will lose in the Upper Assam belt if the party stitch a poll alliance with AIUDF. But they did it [made an alliance],” Rupjyoti Kurmi said.
However, the primary reason behind the departure of Kurmi is the same as that of Jyotiraditya Scindia, Jitin Prasada – the party giving priority to the old guard instead of listening to young leaders. Rupjyoti Kurmi was quoted by ANI as saying, “The Congress isn’t listening to its young leaders. Therefore, the party’s situation is worsening in all states. I’ll meet the assembly speaker and tender my resignation.”
The favour towards old leaders has already led to the loss of government in the state and many young leaders. Now it might cost another state government to the party as many MLAs of the Sachin Pilot faction in Rajasthan are putting pressure on the high command for the change of guard in the leadership. If the party does not make a timely decision – which it does not in most cases – it might lose the government in Rajasthan and many other young and dynamic leaders like Milind Deora might also follow suit.