A group of expelled Congress veterans in Uttar Pradesh, including former ministers, ex-MPs and former youth wing chiefs, have now targeted senior leader Ghulam Nabi Azad and others for remaining mute spectators when action was taken against them in the state.
Azad is one of the 23 senior Congress leaders who recently asked for a full-time, effective, “active” and “visible” party president.
In their letter to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, a group of about 10 expelled party leaders from UP said, “It is strange that leaders, who have been occupying positions of responsibility and have been raising the issue of the freedom of expression and internal democracy in recent days, remained mute spectators (when action was taken against us).”
They urged her to “re-establish” communication with the party workers.
Former MP Santosh Singh, who signed the letter on behalf of the 10 expelled leaders, said, “Senior party leader Ghulam Nabi Azad called me to know about the circumstances that led to action against us. Azad agreed the state party (unit) is not authorised to take any action against us as we are all elected members of the AICC (All India Congress Committee). Only AICC’s central disciplinary committee can act against AICC members on the recommendation of the state disciplinary committee.” Singh is also a former chief of the party’s youth wing.
The Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee’s (UPCC) disciplinary committee had expelled a group of aout 10 senior leaders when they held a separate get-together to celebrate birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in Lucknow on November 14, 2019.
“The expulsion of former minister Ram Krishna Dwivedi was withdrawn a few days before his death,” said Vinod Chaudhary, a former youth wing chief and member of the state party’s disciplinary committee.
In the letter, the group also said, “Under guidance of the Father of Nation Mahatma Gandhi, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru and thereafter Mrs Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi have built the Congress and the nation, upholding democratic values and ideals. No one can deny the strength the Congress has gained under your leadership following the same values, ideology and principles….But this is ironical that a sense of confusion and non-communication prevails among the Congress workers in view of the manner the party is running or being run…”
“History is witness to many defeats. But the Congress workers have never been so hopeless and disappointed as they are now. This is an issue of concern for the Congress for sure…..Those who are not even the primary members of the Congress have been working at the party’s headquarters (in states) on a financial package.…. These people now are reviewing the loyalties of such committed and dedicated (leaders) who fought for the Congress from 1977-1980 and have occupied important positions in the party representing it in the Lok Sabha and the state assembly,” they said.
“It was under pressure of such leaders that 10 leaders were expelled overnight from the Congress, like daily wage workmen, in an undemocratic, unconstitutional and unjust manner,” they said.
Urging Sonia Gandhi to re-establish’ communication
with the party workers, the leaders said if she deviated from this responsibility, the “Congress will become history.”