Mamata to Sharad: Leaders who left Congress to form own outfits

  • Saubhadra Chatterji, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jun 03, 2016 16:21 IST
File photo of Trinamool Congress leader and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee. (Subhendu Ghosh/ Hindustan Times)

Ajit Jogi , the former chief minister of Chhattisgarh has announced he will form his own party, breaking away from the Congress. He is not the first senior Congress leader to try his luck to lead his own outfit. Throughout the history of the Congress, many leaders have snapped ties with the grand old party. Some satraps have tasted success, other ventures have fizzled out. Here’s a look at some of the key offshoots of the Indian National Congress.

1.Trinamool Congress: It is the biggest success story of any erstwhile Congress leader forming their own party. Mamata Banerjee formed Trinamool Congress on January 1, 1998 and after 13 years routed the formidable Left in West Bengal to come to power. In 2016 assembly elections, she crushed the Left as well as the Congress and won a second term. Banerjee has reduced the Congress to a poor second in Bengal politics even as she allied with both the Congress and the BJP at different times at the Centre. Trinamool had even been part of the union government.

2.Nationalist Congress Party: Raising objections to Sonia Gandhi’s leadership, Maratha stalwart Sharad Pawar, along with PA Sangma, Tariq Anwar and Praful Patel, left the Congress to form their out outfit in 1999. The party later became crucial ally of the Congress in Maharashtra and the UPA government at the Centre. The NCP-Congress government in Maharashtra was in power for 15 years till it was defeated by the BJP in 2014. Pawar, albeit leading a regional party, remains a key figure in the national political circles and has friends across political spectrum.

3.Tamil Maanila Congress: The TMC, another breakaway group was formed by G K Moopanar in 1996. It had merged with the Congress in 2002 but again in 2014 former shipping minister and Moopanar’s son G K Vasan left the Congress to resurrect the Tamil Maanila Congress. It has not been able to make a mark in Tamil politics in a big way.

4.Rashtriya Samajwadi Congress: Congress stalwart Pranab Mukherjee fell off with Rajiv Gandhi and decided to form his own party. The National Socialist Congress lasted for just three years and Mukherjee made a quiet entry back to the Congress. In his old home, Mukherjee’s meteoric rise was unstoppable. He held key positions under Prime Ministers Narasimha Rao and Manmohan Singh. In 2012, Mukherjee became the UPA’s choice for the Presidential election and won it.

5.Haryana Janhit Congress: In 2007, former chief minister of Haryana, Bhajan Lal and his son Kuldip Bishnoi had formed their own party after Bhupinder Singh Hooda was made the chief minister of the state. The dream didn’t last long and Bishnoi decided to merge his party in April this year. The Congress welcomed back Bishnoi with open arms.

6.YSR: YS Rajasekhara Reddy was one of the favourite chief ministers of Congress president Sonia Gandhi. After his sudden death, however, relations between the party high command and the Reddy family turned sour. Reddy’s son Jaganmohan felt the party is trying to scuttle his political ambition and he left the party in 2011 to lead the YSR Congress, named after his father. The party managed to emerge as a strong player in Andhra politics.

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