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DNA Unique: Evaluation of Congress social gathering’s intolerance in the direction of its personal senior leaders

New Delhi: In DNA on Tuesday, Zee News Editor-in-Chief Sudhir Chaudhary analyses intolerance of the Congress party towards its own senior leaders.

Chaudhary said that the Congress party suffers from the disease of intolerance and that there is no place for those who speak out against the Gandhi family in the party.

The most recent examples of this are Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Anand Sharma, who raised their voice against the party high command. They were met with severe backlash from other party leaders. 

Ghulam Nabi Azad, who dedicated 47 years of his life to the Congress party was criticised by several Congress leaders after he praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In West Bengal, Anand Sharma spoke against Congress’ decision to join hands with the Indian Secular Front (ISF) as he believed it hurt the secular credentials of the party. But party leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury slammed Sharma for his comments.

At a time when the party is going through such a huge political crisis because of internal conflicts, Rahul Gandhi is busy swimming and doing pushups.

Gandhi is currently on a visit to poll-bound states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry. He can be seen swimming, flaunting six-pack abs and doing pushups. He is perhaps the fittest politician in the country. If fitness was enough to qualify someone as a leader, Gandhi might as well have been the prime minister. But that is not the case. And while the party is going through a crisis, his pictures reveal how much he cares.

In the last 70 years, the internal democracy of Congress has been in shambles as it has been controlled by one family. From 1950 to 2020, the post of Congress President remained with the Gandhi-Nehru family for 39 years. And in the last 40 years, the command of the party remained with the Gandhi-Nehru family for 32 years. This includes Rajiv Gandhi, his wife Sonia Gandhi and his son Rahul Gandhi.

In these 40 years, only two leaders outside the Gandhi family were able to reach the post of president in the Congress. The first was PV Narasimha Rao and the second was Sitaram Kesari. Both of these leaders were ignored later and their control in the party was weakened.

Sonia Gandhi held the top post for 19 consecutive years from 1998 to 2017. She is still the interim president of the party.

Now we take a look at the list of Congres leaders who opposed the Gandhi-Nehru family and for which their political career suffered.

The first example is that of the former Prime Minister of India P.V. Narasimha Rao. He gave the Congress a stable tenure after the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi. But despite this, when he died in December 2004, his body was not allowed to be taken to the national headquarters of the Congress. Not only this, his funeral was not allowed to be held in Delhi at that time, after which he was cremated in Hyderabad.

Sitaram Kesari was a prominent Dalit leader of the party but Gandhi family members removed him from the post of President and then removed him from the party as well.

Similarly, Sharad Pawar, P.A. Sangma and Tariq Anwar were expelled from the party after they questioned Sonia Gandhi’s authority.

Another example is that of VP Singh, who raised questions on the Bofors case. Rajiv Gandhi first cast him out of the cabinet and later expelled him from the party. 

The list also includes Arif Mohammed Khan, who criticized the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s decision in the 1986 Shah Bano case. Arif Mohammad Khan was also expelled from the party after this.

When the Congress was defeated badly in the 1977 general elections held after the Emergency, Congress leaders Y.B. Chavan and K. Brahmananda Reddy questioned the leadership of Indira Gandhi. This resulted in a split in the Congress party.

When Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was the prime minister, India’s first law minister, Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar, had to resign as he did not get support from him on Hindu Code Bill.

Even Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel did not get the respect he deserved. Patel was awarded the Bharat Ratna posthumously, 41 years after his death. Whereas Jawaharlal Nehru gave the award to himself while he was still the prime minister.

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