'Those groomed by Rahul being sidelined in Congress'

Former Haryana Congress president Ashok Tanwar addresses a press conference after resigning from the party. (PTI Photo)

Weeks ahead of the assembly elections, Former Haryana Congress President Ashok Tanwar on Saturday announced his resignation from the party, claiming that the leaders groomed by Rahul Gandhi were being targeted by well-entrenched veterans.

Tanwar shot off a four-page letter to Congress President Sonia Gandhi recalling his 26-year-old journey as a Congressman and alleging that internal democracy in the party was being killed “selfish interests of a few lobbies”.

Tanwar trained his guns at a section of the veteran leaders, whom he did not name, but added that he had no grudge against the Congress President and Rahul – the two leaders who had guided him through his political journey. “I hold Soniaji in high-esteem, she is like a mother figure and Rahul an elder brother,” he said.

“My fight is not personal but against the system which is destroying the grand old party,” Tanwar said in the letter.

The 45-year-old leader also made it clear that though he had got offers from BJP and other parties, he would not be joining any political party for now.

“There is no plan to join the BJP at all,” said Tanwar, who was replaced as the Haryana Congress President last month.

Tanwar's resignation comes days after the presidents of the Jharkhand and Tripura units Ajoy Kumar and Pradyot Deb Barman walked out of the party levelling allegations of corruption against senior party leaders. Former Mumbai Regional Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam is also on the verge of quitting the Congress, claiming that he was being ignored by the party leadership.

“Leaders groomed by Rahul Gandhi are being systematically sidelined in the Congress as part of a conspiracy,” Tanwar said referring to Nirupam's outburst in Mumbai on Friday and the resignation of Mangaluru-born Ajoy Kumar, who joined the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

The ouster of Tanwar, who hails from the scheduled castes, was the key demand of former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who was appointed as the leader of the Congress Legislature Party in Haryana last month. Hooda, considered as the leader of the politically dominant Jat community, had raised a banner of revolt and threatened to quit the party if he was not given due respect in he party.

Another veteran leader Kumari Selja was made the President of the Haryana Congress in a bid to contain the rebellion in the party, a decision that appears to have deepened the cracks in a faction-ridden state unit.

Assembly elections are scheduled to be held on October 21 and results will be declared on October 24.



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