Written by Manoj C G | New Delhi | Published: July 15, 2020 1:18:12 am
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala announces the decision to remove Sachin Pilot from the post of Rajasthan Deputy CM, in Jaipur on Tuesday. (Express photo by Rohit Jain Paras)
The rebellion by former Rajasthan deputy chief minister and state unit chief Sachin Pilot has put the focus back on the young-old divide in the Congress, and the message from some of the party leaders who have spoken out is clear: show patience and wait for your turn.
While Punjab Congress president Sunil Jakhar, former Lok Sabha MP and son of late Congress leader Balram Jakhar, told the younger lot that “politics is not fast food”, former Assam Chief Minister and Congress Working Committee (CWC) member Tarun Gogoi said, “If you can manage majority (in CLP), then alright. Otherwise wait for your turn.”
Mahila Congress chief and former Lok Sabha member Sushmita Dev, one of the party’s younger leaders, also emphasised the significance of patience: “There is no harm in having aspirations but that should not exceed what you deserve and when.”
Jakhar told The Indian Express: “One should learn to wait. This generation…should know that politics is not fast food. Patience is required.” Indicating Pilot and Jyotiraditya Scindia, who recently joined the BJP, Jakhar said, “I think they had great potential, great future because of the confidence and trust Rahul-ji (Rahul Gandhi) had in them…(he) promoted them and gave them opportunities. They should have waited…”
Gogoi said the old versus young battle is not new in the Congress, and even Indira Gandhi had faced it. Indira, the three-time former Assam CM said, had to fight against the likes of K Kamaraj, Prafulla Ghosh and S Nijalingappa. Giving a personal experience, Gogoi said he faced resistance from senior leaders during his early days and had to fight with them.
Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot, against whom Pilot is seen as having rebelled, also had to battle it out in his early days in the Youth Congress, the veteran politician said. “Kamal Nath was much senior (in politics) to Digvijaya Singh but Digvijaya became chief minister (of MP) much before him. When Kamal Nath became important (leader) during Sanjay Gandhi’s time, Digvijaya was a nobody,” Gogoi said. “So my advice is, if you can manage your majority then alright, otherwise you wait for your turn.”
Dev, also from Assam, differed. “I don’t believe in this young versus old (comparison). Look at the AICC — there is me, Gaurav Gogoi, R P N Singh, Jitendra Singh, Rajeev Satav; there is Kuldeep Bishnoi and Deepender Hooda in CWC [all young Congress leaders]…. Everybody who is young and has a face has got something (responsibility). It is not that we have been kept idle.”
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