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‘Rise above affinity for family’: Expelled UP Congress leaders urge Sonia Gandhi to revive party

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New Delhi, Sep 06: Nine expelled Congress leaders have written to party president Sonia Gandhi, asking her to "rise above the affinity for the family (parivaar ke moh)" and run the organisation by establishing mutual trust and restoring the constitutional and democratic values.

Sonia Gandhi

The letter from the UP veterans comes days after 23 senior Congress leaders wrote to Gandhi, saying uncertainty over the party leadership has "demoralised Congress workers". They also said over-centralisation and micro-management have always proven counter-productive.

In the letter dated September 2 and addressed to Gandhi, the nine Congress leaders, including former MP Santosh Singh and former minister Satyadev Tripathi, said Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi built the Congress and the country with democratic values. But it's ironic that for sometime, the way in which the party is being run, there is confusion ("asmanjas") and depression ("avsaad") among the ordinary Congress worker, they added.

"At a time, when the country's democratic values and social fabric is lying scattered, the need of the country is that Congress remain alive, dynamic and strong. You please rise above the affinity for the family, and as per traditions, restore the expression of thoughts, constitutional and democratic values, and run the organisation by establishing communication and mutual trust," the leaders urged Gandhi.

"If you deviate from your responsibility, then Congress will become a thing of the past," they said. "Today, Congress is facing uncertainty, indecisiveness, lack of communication, and lack of expression of thoughts, and is passing through a difficult phase of existential crisis."

They also said the "height of insensitivity" can be gauged from the fact that the party president does not know about the incidents taking place in the organisation or is keeping the eyes shut "despite knowing everything".

Referring to their expulsion, the leaders said in the letter, "It is almost one year (since expulsion), but despite requests we were not given time by the (state unit of the) party. The party's central disciplinary committee is also not listening to anything. It seems the Congress office is locked."

They claimed the disciplinary committee of the party's UP unit cannot expel them since they are members of the AICC.

Singh and Tripathi were among the 10 senior leaders who were expelled from the primary membership of the Congress on November 24 last year for six years for allegedly tarnishing the party's image and opposing its leadership's decisions at public forums.

The other expelled leaders who signed the letter are Siraj Mehdi (former MLC), Bhoodhar Narayan Mishra (former MLA), Vinod Chaudhary (former MLA), Nek Chandra Pandey (former MLA), Swayam Prakash Goswami (former chairman of Youth Congress), Rajendra Singh Solanki and Sanjeev Singh.

UP Congress spokesperson Ashok Singh said, "The leaders were expelled last year for opposing the decisions of the party leadership at public forums and tarnishing the image of the party. A notice was also served to these leaders for unnecessarily opposing the party over the revamp of the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee in October last year."

"As far as writing letters to the Congress president is concerned, they are free to do so," he said.

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