Cong's Bumpy Ride To Raebareli: Disconnect Between Top Brass And Grassroots Workers Leaves Party Cadre Disillusioned - Vibes Of India

Gujarat News, Gujarati News, Latest Gujarati News, Gujarat Breaking News, Gujarat Samachar.

Latest Gujarati News, Breaking News in Gujarati, Gujarat Samachar, ગુજરાતી સમાચાર, Gujarati News Live, Gujarati News Channel, Gujarati News Today, National Gujarati News, International Gujarati News, Sports Gujarati News, Exclusive Gujarati News, Coronavirus Gujarati News, Entertainment Gujarati News, Business Gujarati News, Technology Gujarati News, Automobile Gujarati News, Elections 2022 Gujarati News, Viral Social News in Gujarati, Indian Politics News in Gujarati, Gujarati News Headlines, World News In Gujarati, Cricket News In Gujarati

Cong’s Bumpy Ride To Raebareli: Disconnect Between Top Brass And Grassroots Workers Leaves Party Cadre Disillusioned

| Updated: March 12, 2024 18:22

The Congress top brass neglecting or not giving due importance to the party’s foot soldiers who are actually on the ground to galvanise the party, is a common refrain across the cadre base in recent times.

The continuous exodus of party workers and leaders mainly revolves around the complaint of lack of appreciation and motivation from the party high command that has still the Gandhi family at the centre of its universe.

Not that the Gandhi family didn’t bring development to Raebareli. But that has now become a relic of the past and doesn’t resonate with the younger lot for whom the world has moved on much ahead and the past glitter of development has faded.

The mood in most of Raebareli is that of disenchantment with the grand old party, once considered an invincible Congress bastion. Rahul Gandhi recently participated in his Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra here, but despite huge participation, there are rumblings of discontent.

The secretary of the party’s city committee said he was hurt that Rahul Gandhi did not even get out of his vehicle as the yatra wound its way through Raebareli town.

“Aap pariwar ka rishta kehte hain par (The Gandhis call us family and yet)… Rahul was welcomed at 29 spots in Rae Bareli, he could have stepped out of his vehicle at any of these places,” he said.

As some of the veterans talk fondly of the Gandhi family and how Raebareli has always voted “emotionally”, Mishra is visibly uneasy.

“Raebareli mein party workers ko attention chahiye… Emotions ki bhi umra hoti hai (The party workers in Raebareli want attention. Even emotions have a shelf life),” said the young secretary disheartened.

With the Congress announcing its first list of candidates for 29 Lok Sabha seats, Raebareli and Amethi are still up in the air.

While Rahul Gandhi’s 2019 loss to Smriti Irani in Amethi still rankles, the party will be desperate to hold on to Raebareli – the only seat it won from the state in the 2019 elections. A win or loss here will determine the Congress’s future in the heartland and send out signals right down to the grassroots.

With Sonia Gandhi declaring herself unavailable for the Lok Sabha contest and the BJP determined to chip away the last vestiges of Congress influence here, cadres and other old-timers are aware that the road to Raebareli is unlikely to be a smooth one.

WThe younger lot is visibly upset that members of the Gandhi family haven’t been visiting the constituency, pointing out that the last time Sonia visited Raebareli was in January 2020, when she, along with Priyanka, came to offer condolences on the death of former MLA Ajay Pal’s son.

Kamlesh Dwivedi, 77, who is from a family of Congressmen, complains that “loyal faces” have been neglected. Mata Prasad Pal, 73, calls himself an out and out “Congressi”, which gives him the “right to be upset with today’s Congress”.
“My entire family voted for the Congress, but if they lose, that’s their fault alone. They stopped coming. It hurts,” he said.

While district Congress leaders and old-timers hope Priyanka’s presence will enthuse voters and cadres alike, the party realises that the ‘Indira’s granddaughter’ trump card may not enthuse a new generation born with no memory or recollection of Indira or the Congress’s heydays.

While the presence of the Gandhis lent Raebareli its VVIP sheen, the constituency has over the years struggled in terms of development, largely because it had to fight for land and clearances with non-Congress state governments.

While Sonia, who represented the constituency from 2004 to 2024, brought the Rail Coach Factory, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) and National Institute of Pharmaceutical and Research (NIPER) to Raebareli, with the UPA shunted out of power in 2014, the projects either slowed down or the proposals never saw the light of day.

The effects of that political tussle is visible everywhere in Raebareli – in the dust and chaos from half-built flyovers, in the potholed roads and unfinished projects.
While Sonia inaugurated the temporary OPD of AIIMS Raebareli before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the building was inaugurated only last week by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The fifth batch of MBBS students is about to graduate.

The country’s “first women’s university”, proposed during the UPA regime in 2013, never materialised after the Congress lost power at the Centre.

Successfully chosen as a so-called “safe seat” for Feroze Gandhi, Indira’s husband, in the 1952 and 1957 Lok Sabha elections, Raebareli shot to limelight after it was won by Indira in 1967, 1971 and 1980. A “VIP constituency” represented by the Prime Minister, it got projects that other districts in the state could only dream of.

Raebareli got its first college, Firoz Gandhi College, in 1960, during the term of its first MP, Firoz Gandhi. One of the most prominent projects from Indira’s time is the manufacturing unit of the Indian Telephone Industries Ltd, which manufactures fiber-optic cables. It has given temporary space to many units, including NIFT’s Raebareli centre, by giving them land on lease. When it was set up in 1973, residents said Indian Telephone Industries employed about 5,000 locals.

Despite the projects cleared by the Congress when in power, local BJP leaders are in no mood to grant the party any concessions.

“They brought these projects here in a hurry. It was the BJP government that completed them. Sonia never visited the constituency during her last term. There was no one to protest or fight for these incomplete projects,” says a BJP leader.

Over the years, the Congress has been losing not just votes but also its local leaders in Raebareli. Before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Dinesh Pratap Singh, a former Congress MLC, joined the BJP and contested against Sonia. He lost but was rewarded with a ministry in the Yogi government.

The Congress’s sitting MLA from Raebareli Sadar, Aditi Singh, joined the BJP ahead of the 2022 Assembly polls. Daughter of Akhilesh Singh, the six-term MLA from Raebareli who mainly won as an Independent, Aditi is today the lone BJP MLA from Raebareli. Four of the remaining Assembly seats — Bachchrawan, Harchandpur, Sareni and Unchahar — in the larger Lok Sabha constituency went to the Samajwadi Party in 2022.

Besides losing its local leaders, the Congress’s narrowing victory margins is also a cause for concern for the party — from a 3.72 lakh victory margin in 2009 to 3.52 lakh in 2014 and a mere 1.66 lakh in 2019, when Sonia defeated Dinesh Pratap Singh. While the Samajwadi Party has traditionally not fielded candidates against the Congress in Raebareli, when it does so in the Assembly elections, the Congress has steadily been losing ground.

Aditi Singh says, “It’s true that the seat has been represented by the Congress for long periods, but unfortunately it has nothing to show for it. The Gandhis may have not been in power for 10 years but that does not stop you from visiting or caring for your constituency. Sukh-dukh batiye, rishte nibhaiye (Share your happiness and sorrows; maintain your relationships).”

Also Read: Six Pak Nationals Nabbed Near Porbandar While Sneaking Into India…

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *