With Jyotiraditya Scindia parting ways with the Congress and Sachin Pilot ousted as Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister and PCC chief, senior Congress leader BK Hariprasad lashes out at them dubbing them "careerist politicians who had nothing to do with ideology".
“These so-called young politicians are here to make careers (in politics) but don’t have any inclination towards any party ideology,” Hari Prasad said.
Hariprasad is a former Congress General Secretary who was in charge of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh affairs of the party.
Hariprasad, a former member of Parliament who represented Karnataka in the Rajya Sabha, added: “Ditching the party when the country is facing a serious problem is very unfortunate. No doubt, both Scindia and Pilot are talented, but their loyalty has been for the chair (power) and not for the party or its ideology.”
He recalled that in 1998 when Ashok Gehlot was the Congress state unit president, then party stalwarts like Hardev Joshi, Natwar Singh, Shiv Charan Mathur, and Parasram Madrena had accepted Gehlot to be the Chief Minister as the majority of MLAs supported Gehlot.
“The same thing happened in 2018 too after the Assembly elections. Even Nawal Kishore Sharma did not rebel because all those leaders were with party for a cause,” the Congress leader remarked.
Giving an example of how much the Congress cared for Pilot’s political career, he said that during the 2004 Lok Sabha elections — Pilot’s debut electoral contest — Congress leader Sonia Gandhi had personally stationed him in Rajasthan to manage Pilot’s campaigning.
“‘See BK that things are alright in Dausa’,” he recalled Sonia telling him.
In 2004, Mohsina Kidwai was General Secretary incharge while Hariprasad was Secretary incharge of Rajasthan.
Hariprasad said that in 2010 — when he was incharge of Madhya Pradesh affairs — he personally went to Scindia and asked him to become the party president which Scindia refused despite a consent from then senior party leader Arjun Singh, since deceased.
Hariprasad claimed that Scindia told him that he was willing to take over six months ahead of the general elections held in 2014.
Hariprasad was a member of Sonia Gandhi’s core team and has been incharge of MP, Rajasthan, Haryana, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Jharkhand affairs of the party at various points in time. He was removed as party General Secretary after Rahul Gandhi took over as party President but has since been drafted to Karnataka state politics and member of the Legislative Council.
Senior Congress leader and former Karnataka chief minister M. Veerappa Moily said that the party has given a lot to both Sachin Pilot and Jyotiraditya Scindia and they should have waited patiently instead of being rebellious.
He also said that the move by Scindia and Pilot is suicidal and they will never be made chief ministers in the BJP.
Speaking over phone from Bengaluru, Moily said, “This is not the time to think who is right or who is wrong but the question is the integrity of the party, which has to be maintained. Pilot got everything, he was an MP, he was a union minister, he was also made the PCC chief and deputy chief minister.”
Moily’s remarks came a day after the Congress sacked Pilot as both PCC chief and deputy chief minister for leading the rebellion against Ashok Gehlot in Rajasthan.
The former union minister further said that the party understands the aspirations, “but one has to learn to work in the framework of the party”.
“You cannot have the aspirations to rise at the cost of the party. Pilot should have waited with patience. Of course he was an aspiring youth and he was working for the party and nobody denies that,” Moily said.
Moily also said that working hard does not mean one should break the rules.
Moily said that Pilot should have attended the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting and being a PCC president he should have done a responsible job.
On the Question of the old guard and the new guard in the Congress party, Moily said, “It is not a question of old guard versus new guard. Congress has survived for 135 years with all this contradictions.”
When pointed out party losing Scindia in Madhya Pradesh in March this year and also the fall of the Kamal Nath government there and similarly Pilot rebelling against Gehlot in Rajasthan, he said, “What Scindia has done after he was given all importance?”
Moily said that the chief ministers are elected on the basis of the number of the support of the MLAs in one’s favour. “While selecting the chief minister, the observers who go on behalf of the party high command speak to MLAs and then take a decision. The same thing happened with Kamal Nath in Madhya Pradesh and Gehlot in Rajasthan, as part of the democratic process,” the Congress leader said.
He said that sometimes people allege that the democratic process is not followed, “but that has taken place in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan”.
“And whether it is Scindia or Pilot, they should have waited for their chance. They will never become chief ministers in BJP. So it is suicidal for both Pilot and Scindia,” Moily said.
He also made it clear that the doors of the Congress party are still open for Pilot and said, “If Pilot is loyal to Congress then he has to go through the process, it is still not too late for him to come to party.”
When asked what action the party will take if he does not attend the CLP meeting in next two days, Moily said that the question of any other action depends on his further decisions.
Moily also emphasised the roles of the party general secretaries and state in-charges saying that these days many of them are not “vigilant” and they do not understand the problems faced by local party units.
Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister and Congress leader Digvijaya Singh on Tuesday launched a scathing attack on erstwhile party colleague Jyotiraditya Scindia for joining hands with the BJP which he dubbed as ‘enemies’.
Speaking to reporters in Shivpuri, Digvijaya said that the BJP had ensured Scindia’s defeat in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, yet he shook hands with the same party.
During the tour here, Digvijaya faced opposition from BJP workers in Ranaud as they raised slogans against him and tried to stop his convoy while on way to Khod village where he had gone to condole the death of Professor APS Chauhan. (IANS)