The Congress’s quest for an oarsman

January 19 2016

Why just the BJP, a 125-year-old party such as the Congress seems to be in doldrums in UP. And maybe that is the reason it can’t find an adept oarsman who will help the party out of choppy waters. Sources say that in the recent past, Rahul Gandhi’s office has tried to contact at least four prominent leaders to head the party in the state. But these politicians are coming up with some excuse or the other and are trying to avoid heading the party in UP. Sources close to top leaders in the Congress say first it was former Central minister R P N Singh who was contacted, and who expressed his inability to lead the party in UP. After that, the party contacted Pradeep Jain Aditya, Zafar Ali Naqvi, and Rita Bahuguna Joshi, but no encouraging answer could be had from either. The only one left was Jitin Prasad, who himself met Rahul and expressed a desire to take over the reins of the party in UP; he hasn’t received any assurance from Rahul so far, however. Sources say the reason is that when the Congress got a thrashing in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Jitin secretly met with Modi, and asked for a Rajya Sabha seat for himself. When things didn’t work out there, he made a quick visit to the SP courtyards as well. And this is something that Rahul seems to be unable to digest.

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