New twist to resolution seeking action against Jitin PrasadaUpdated: Aug 28, 2020, 00:20 IST
CLAIM Party’s Kheri chief says it was passed on the directives of an office bearer of state unit
Lucknow: The controversy over a resolution demanding action against senior Congress leader Jitin Prasada has taken a new turn. Prasada was one of the 23 signatories to the letter that senior party leaders had sent to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, asking for a full-time, effective, “active” and “visible” party president.
Now, Lakhimpur Kheri District Congress Committee (DCC) president Prahalad Patel has claimed the ‘resolution’ was passed on (Wednesday) on the directives of an office bearer of the state party unit and it was sent by a functionary close to the top party leadership.
“Yes, the resolution was provided to us by Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee secretary incharge for Lakhimpur Kheri (Kumud) Gangwar,” said Patel.
Although Patel refused to say anything beyond this, he is heard pointing towards the role of a party functionary close to the top leadership, in an audio clip being circulated on the social media.
“I have been appointed the district president. I have to do whatever I am asked to do. This resolution condemning 23 leaders was sent by Dheeraj Gujjar. I refused to sign due to objections to some lines in the (draft) resolution. Three lines were removed thrice. Gangwar is in charge (of Lakhimpur Kheri) and he was also being pressured,” Patel allegedly said in the audio.
Patel was also heard hinting at a turf war and the influence of a former MP’s son on the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC).
When contacted UPCC secretary Kumud Gangwar said there was no question of any pressure on him or the DCC president.
“I was present at the DCC meeting being incharge of the district. There was no pressure on me or the DCC. I spoke to DCC president after the audio came to notice. DCC president is denying saying anything,” said Gangwar.
While the UPCC is keeping a close watch on the developments, other senior office bearers refused to say anything on record.
“DCC’s resolution against Jitin Prasada is an expression of the feelings of partymen,” said a senior UPCC leader. Another leader said the resolution may have been the outcome of a turf war between Prasada and a former Congress MP from the region.
In a tweet, senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal said, “Unfortunate that Jitin Prasada is being officially targeted in UP. Congress needs to target the BJP with surgical strikes instead of wasting its energy by targeting its own.”
Sibal, along with Prasada, was one of the 23 signatories to the letter sent to Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
Senior leader and former Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) president Raj Babbar too had signed the letter.
“Yes, I had signed the letter. But the issue has been already resolved at the Congress Working Committee. I am not aware about the demand being made for action against Prasada,” said Babbar. Prasada too had on Wednesday said the issue was over after discussions before Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
Earlier, Lakhimpur Kheri District Congress Committee, in its resolution passed on Wednesday, said: “Mrs Sonia Gandhi is the unanimous leader of the Congress. We fully trust the leadership of Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi. If there is any change in the leadership, Rahul Gandhi should be made the Congress president. These leaders have pointed fingers towards Mrs Sonia Gandhi’s leadership at this time of Covid-19 pandemic. Mrs Sonia Gandhi is not in good health and the BJP has been targeting the Congress governments in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. Under such a situation, signing the letter indicates that they (leaders) don’t have any faith in the leadership of Sonia Gandhi and the Congress. These leaders have done whatever the BJP is doing.”
“The District Congress Committee (DCC) demands disciplinary action should be taken against all those who signed the letter and they should be expelled from the party….All over UP, there is only one leader, former minister Jitin Prasada, who has signed the letter. His family has been against the Gandhi family. His father, the late Jitendra Prasada, had contested election against Sonia Gandhi. Despite this, Sonia Gandhi gave him the Lok Sabha ticket and he was made a minister. His act is gross indiscipline and action should be taken against him,” read the resolution.
Earlier, a day before the Congress Working Committee meeting, UPCC president Ajay Kumar Lallu, Congress Legislature Party leader Aradhna Mishra ‘Mona’, legislators and other senior party leaders too had signed a joint statement targeting those who had signed the controversial letter.
“Some leaders claiming to be representing the feelings of partymen from across the country have sent a letter to the Congress president. The truth remains that they don’t represent feelings of workers and office bearers in different states. Congress workers across the country are fully aware that they have remained cut off from the Congress’ brave fight against the BJP and have derived maximum advantage from the Congress. Their claim to be representing the feelings of party workers was baseless and unnecessary,” said the leaders in their joint statement.
“For all of us, this is the time to unitedly stand by the leadership of Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi and fight the forces destroying Constitutional values and democracy and we will fulfil this responsibility,” they said.