With just a few weeks remaining for the 2019 general election, a mass jumping of ships by senior leaders of the Congress to the BJP has been haunting the Congress. Senior leaders from critical states like West Bengal, Odisha and Kerala after citing various issues in Party management and other irregularities are moving to the BJP. Many leaders have even cited continuous neglect and lack of professionalism by the party for their exit.
What came as a major jolt to Congress’ electoral ambitions in the state of Kerala, Tom Vaddakan, spokesperson and once a key aide of the UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, joined the BJP on Thursday.
The 61 Year old senior leader who ended his 20 year long association with the party, serving at different senior positions like AICC media secretary and others said, “The attack by Pakistan on our land and the reaction from my party was sad indeed. I left the party with heavy heart. If a party is working against national interest, then there is no other option but to leave it,” he said ,He also slammed the Congress for its “dynasty politics”, alleging the party has a culture of “use and throw” as he joined the BJP in the presence of BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad.
Tehseen Poonawala, showing the disrespectful and unprofessional attitude of Congress towards its senior leaders, tweeted:
Well mass leader Tom Vadakkan joins the BJP. I am sure Congress Kerala must be shivering that such a mass leader joined BJP.
When he was media secretary of AICC (the party In power in India) he was a v busy man ensuring the gas cylinder reached home, carpenter came home!
— Tehseen Poonawalla (@tehseenp) March 14, 2019
Insensitive and childish comments, for senior leaders by the Congress have further worsened their credibility in the party cadre. It didn’t come as a surprise to many, that senior leaders holding important posts like ‘AICC media secretary’ had to do menial jobs like making sure ‘the gas cylinder reached home, carpenter came home!’. The culture of sycophancy in the congress has been criticized over time however the party has been ineffective in making any significant changes in its working. This shows how senior members in top party positions, have to indulge in menial jobs in the Congress.
The twitterati responded to Tahseen’s comments:
That disrespect is probably the reason he left
— shilpi tewari (@shilpitewari) March 14, 2019
Senior leaders in the Congress, from a long time have been victims of mistreatment by the Gandhi family. This disrespectful attitude of the Congress supremo towards senior leaders is being seen as one of the major causes of the large number of leaders breaking their association with the Congress.
When Senior Congress leader and seven time MLA Kalidas Kolambkar left the congress, no time was wasted by Congress to spew disrespectful comments for Kolambkar. Congress Spokesperson Raju Waghmare said “Backstabbing is Kolambkar’s nature…Tomorrow he will backstab the BJP as well.”. The comments of the official spokesperson of the Congress clearly indicates the dire state of affairs at Congress.
Another incident which substantiates Congress’ attitude towards its leaders came when Rahul Gandhi went to visit Puducherry. Former Union Minister V Narayanasamy was seen in a video holding slippers for Rahul Gandhi as he waited for him to remove his shoes and then placing them for him to slip into. The video and the images took social media by a storm, with users criticizing Rahul Gandhi’s disrespectful outlook towards a senior leader.
Perpetual neglect of senior leaders by the Congress high command has in the past also hurt Congress in the form of major defections however the Congress still looks far from evolving to a party, where senior leaders, other than the Gandhi family are respected.
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