(From Left) Sunil Jakhar, Jitin Prasada and RPN Singh
After months of speculation, which involved a blow hot, blow cold relationship, veteran Congress leader Sunil Jakhar quit the party on Saturday, even as the Grand Old Party has gone into a huddle in Udaipur for a ‘Chintan ‘ Shivir’ to chalk out a roadmap for its rejuvenation.
Jakhar’s exit comes after the Congress leadership took action against him for alleged anti-party activities. The veteran leader’s move is also the latest among a series of desertions from the party which has been unable to reverse its political fortunes due to infighting, lack of decision-making at the top level, and the BJP behemoth.
News18 takes a look at the recent Congress exits:
- Ripun Bora: Former Assam Congress President Ripun Bora joined the All India Trinamool Congress in Kolkata becoming the latest leader to leave the grand old party in Assam. “From today I have started my new political journey!” Bora had tweeted, sharing his resignation letter, addressed to Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
- Ashwani Kumar: Former Union minister Ashwani Kumar quit the Grand Old Party, saying he “can best subserve larger national causes outside the party fold”.
- Imran Masood: Masood left the Congress to join the Samajwadi Party ahead of the 2022 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections.
- Aditi Singh: The rebel Congress MLA from Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh has joined the BJP. The daughter of five-time MLA late Akhilesh Singh, Aditi Singh had been critical of the Gandhis and was suspended from the party’s women’s wing in May last year after she slammed her party for arranging 1,000 buses for migrants stranded in parts of Uttar Pradesh owing to the Covid-19 lockdown.
- Luizinho Falerio: The former Goa chief minister left the party just before the 2022 state polls. The veteran Congressman, who resigned on Monday and joined the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress, hit out at the state leadership and said the party become a “cruel parody of what the Congress stands for”.
- Jitin Prasada: The former Union minister left the party in June 2022 and joined the BJP. He had criticised the functioning of the party and said that the party is only an “institutionally national party” now. He later took oath as the Uttar Pradesh Cabinet minister under the leadership of Yogi Adityanath.
- RPN Singh: The former Union minister, a close aide of Rahul Gandhi, quit the Congress and joined the BJP. Singh was the Congress’s Jharkhand in-charge but had reportedly been pushed to the margins in the party, having fallen out of favour of the Gandhis.
- Jyotiraditya Scindia: Jyotiraditya Scindia was the Uttar Pradesh in-charge of the Congress along with Priyanka Gandhi Vadra in the 2019 Lok Sabha election in which RPN Singh suffered a second consecutive loss from Kushinagar seat. Jitin Prasada joined the BJP last year after he was sidelined in the Congress party.
- PC Chacko: The Congress veteran and party’s Delhi in-charge resigned last year just before the Kerala Assembly elections and joined the Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
- Amarinder Singh: After months of bickering with then Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu, former Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh quit the Congress and founded his own party Punjab Lok Congress. The veteran’s exit was followed by the party’s drubbing in the Punjab polls.