File photo of Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury
Talking about Scindia and Pilot who deserted the party, Chowdhury said they were never neglected or given short shrift by the party.
- Last Updated:July 24, 2020, 2:41 PM IST
Leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury feels a section of young “overambitious” leaders is becoming increasingly restless and deserting the party due to the growing perception that it is not going to return to power at the Centre anytime soon.
Conceding that their exit might adversely impact the party “temporarily”, the veteran Congress MP, however, said party “discipline and ideology can’t be compromised to satisfy the individual aspirations of leaders who lack ideological commitment”.
The Congress has been reeling from the high-profile desertion of Jyotiraditya Scindia and rebellion by Sachin Pilot.
“There is a certain section of overambitious young leaders…..they are becoming restless and feeling they are not getting their due in the party and are looking for other options to satisfy their individual ambitions.
“This is happening due to a growing perception that as the Congress won’t return to power (at the Centre) shortly, so the party won’t be able to satisfy all their demands. So they are either jumping the ship or are planning to do so,” Chowdhury told PTI in an interview.
Talking about Scindia and Pilot, he said they were never neglected or given short shrift by the party. He said there have been leaders with great potential in several political parties who did not get their due. “But did they leave their party to enjoy the fruits of power? The answer is no. The problem is the lack of commitment,” he said.
Chowdhury also rejected the claim that Jyotiraditya Scindia won Madhya Pradesh for the Congress as its campaign committee chief for the assembly polls. If that were the case, he would not have lost his Lok Sabha seat, the veteran Congress leader said.
Rajasthan, where Sachin Pilot has risen in revolt against Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, has a history of change of guard every five years, Chowdhury said. “Had he (Pilot) been the only factor which led to our victory in the 2018 assembly polls, we wouldn’t have fared so badly in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls in Rajasthan,” he said.
Scindia left the Congress with his band of loyal MLAs in March and joined the BJP, resulting in the fall of the Kamal Nath government and the saffron party’s return to power. Pilot was removed as deputy chief minister and Rajasthan Congress president after he revolted against Gehlot, a representative of the old guard in the Congress. He has neither left the party nor been expelled.
Former union minister Milind Deora, one of the young faces in the Congress had last year proposed Pilot and Scindia for the post of the party’s national president. Deora had told PTI he agreed with Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh that the new Congress president should be young, capable and possess electoral, administrative and organisational experience, and a pan-India appeal.
“In my view, Sachin Pilot and Jyotiraditya