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Facts prove Congress' 'miffed old guard' argument is just red herring

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The number of senior, veteran leaders quitting the Congress is much less than the younger lot. Significantly, these leaders span across all states.

Even as political pundits, some considered closest to the Gandhis, analysed why Ghulam Nabi Azad's quitting Congress was not just another resignation, the party's media wing unleashed a vicious tirade against the veteran politician. The most common point of attack was listing the positions and importance Azad had enjoyed in his half century with the Congress.

The other point appeared somewhat philosophical. The party used its supporters on social media to argue that Rahul Gandhi wanted to weed out the deadwood from the party as they were status quo-ist in their attitude and thus a hurdle in the way of rejuvenation.

Ghulam Nabi Azad

On the face of it, this sounds like a good enough argument. However, a cursory look at all the names who left the party in the past few years shows that the party's argument is just a red herring. The number of senior, veteran leaders quitting the Congress is much less than the younger lot. In fact, the larger number consists of those who were contemporaries of Rahul Gandhi and some of them much more junior.

It's not just that a lot of young, promising and even dynamic politicians have said goodbye to the Congress. It is significant that these leaders span across all states. We will name just a few of them here because facts speak for themselves.

G N Azad to launch new political party in 14 days with first unit in KashmirG N Azad to launch new political party in 14 days with first unit in Kashmir

Let us look at Haryana. The state adjoins Delhi and is known for political ups and downs. Ashok Tanwar, a one time favourite of Rahul Gandhi and the youngest president of Youth Congress had to quit in frustration. Tanwar's desertion proved to be a major factor behind the party's current situation in Haryana.

Similar is the case of Sushmita Deb. Another favuorite soldier of Rahul. Sushmita was one of the most vocal voices of the party in Lok Sabha. She managed to convince members of other parties also to join whenever Congress raised an issue. She is still as vocal but as a TMC soldier.

Then there are Jitin Prasad and RPN Singh in Uttar Pradesh. Both of them one time prominent faces of Team Rahul. Today they are both in the BJP.

The story of Jyotiraditya Scindia, of course, is mentioned as a case in point every time one talks of the Congress.

And perhaps no one has been giving more heartburn to the Gandhi family and its supporters Himanta Biswa Sarma, chief minister of Assam who has become the nemesis of the party in the entire northeast.

More recently, Hardik Patel who was expected to shore up the Congress fortunes in Gujarat left the party but not without some very harsh words for Rahul and his hangers-on. Gujarat goes to polls in November and Patel's resignation could not have come at a worse time.

Pradyot Manikya, Pema Khandu, Kuldeep Bishnoi, Priyanka Chaturvedi, Aditi Singh... the list is long and spread over from Jammu-Kashmir to Kerala and from Tripura to Gujarat.

Immediate reasons may differ but in the larger sense all these young leaders said goodbye to the Congress because they did not see a future for themselves in the party.

Joined Congress when it was 'taboo’ in J&K: Ghulam Nabi Azad in resignation letter Joined Congress when it was 'taboo’ in J&K: Ghulam Nabi Azad in resignation letter

It is easy for the Congress media war room to trash those who leave by calling them traitors. But at the end of the day, politics is as much a career as any other. And career matters more to those who are relatively young as compared to the veterans who have almost lived their lives.

The long list of young men and women who have left the party or may be contemplating to leave is too serious to be ignored or trashed through trolls.

(Smita Mishra writes on politics and current affairs)

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of OneIndia and OneIndia does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

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