The real story between the internal rebellion in the Congress party has finally come to the fore. Sources close to Congress President Sonia Gandhi have confirmed to Republic that the actual fight is between the two camps belonging to the former and her son Rahul Gandhi. While the likes of Ashok Tanwar, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Sanjay Nirupam are known to be key members of the Rahul camp, party veterans like Ahmed Patel and Ghulam Nabi Azad are part of Sonia Gandhi’s close circle. According to the sources, the revolt staged by key leaders from Haryana to Maharashtra follows a common pattern. This has led to the belief that Rahul Gandhi has tacitly backed these protests.
After the disastrous performance of Congress in the 2019 General elections, party president Rahul Gandhi announced his decision to step down. After attempts to persuade him to take back his resignation failed, his mother and the party’s longest-serving president in history, Sonia Gandhi assumed interim charge in August. This was followed by two developments. First, Rahul Gandhi has stayed away from most important meetings, including the candidate selection for the upcoming Assembly elections and by-polls in several states. The other change has been that his mother has reversed key decisions taken by him.
The public squabble between Milind Deora and Sanjay Nirupam in Mumbai Congress precedes the Lok Sabha polls. The latter was removed as the Mumbai Regional Congress Committee president and he has been unhappy since then. Similarly, Tanwar was sacked in favour of Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who had raised the banner of revolt in Haryana earlier. Scindia too has repeatedly expressed his dissatisfaction with the working of the Madhya Pradesh government led by Kamal Nath, since missing out on the Chief Minister’s position. Another Rahul Gandhi camp member Divya Spandana, who headed the social media cell of the party, was replaced by Rohan Gupta recently. On the other hand, Patel is pretty much back in the reckoning after being relatively sidelined by Rahul Gandhi.
Tanwar’s huge protest outside the Congress president’s residence, Milind Deora’s appreciation of ‘Howdy, Modi!’, Scindia and other leaders openly backing the Centre’s move to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir indicate the possibility of a pattern. This theory finds resonance in Nirupam's allegation on Friday that there was a conspiracy to systematically downgrade the importance of aides of Rahul Gandhi. Furthermore, he directly attacked his Sonia Gandhi’s coterie for being biased and having no understanding of the ground reality. The tussle in the Mumbai Congress is intriguing because Deora is also known to be close to the former party president. Thus, there is every chance of the protests being orchestrated as a fallout of Rahul having to take the entire blame for the loss in the Lok Sabha elections.