Congress’ ideological commitment in question

Just a year ahead of the crucial UP election, one of the prominent faces of the Congress in the state, Jiten Prasada on Wednesday left the party and joined rival BJP. He is the second high-profile leader after Jyotiraditya Scindia to leave the party and join the direct rival BJP. People like Jiten Prasada, Scindia, Milind Deora and Sachin Pilot were close friends of Rahul Gandhi. They enjoyed power when the UPA was in power. Now, when the Congress is in a crisis, they are deserting the party. This might be a wakeup call for the Congress and its leadership, especially the Gandhis. For years they ignored the grassroots party workers and rewarded people who were considered close to the Gandhi family.

Leaders like Jiten Prasada, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Milind Deora and Sachin Pilot are second-generation dynasts. They got easy entry because their fathers were old Congress leaders who had worked with prime ministers like Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. The BJP, which used to attack the Congress over dynasty politics, today stands exposed for accepting the entry of dynasts like Scindia and Prasada. They have lost the high moral ground at least on this issue. Also, the saffron party is trying to portray the entry of Jiten Prasada as a move to appease the Brahmin community to which he belongs. This shows the party is worried about UP where the Covid-19 crisis has hit the image of the party and its CM Yogi Adityanath. Also, the shifting of loyalty by top leaders like Scindia and Prasada raises serious question marks over the ideological commitment of the Congress leaders. How can people change ideology overnight? From being part of a liberal-secular party for so long, how can these leaders join an extreme right wing party?