Sonia faces major party infighting

Sonia faces major party infighting

Agency News

Turf war and infighting continue to plague the Congress, posing a major challenge for Mrs. Sonia Gandhi who took over as interim party president a month back amidst despondency following the Lok Sabha election  debacle.

The  party seems to be in disarray, with collective leadership lacking in states, including Maharashtra and Haryana, where Assembly polls are to be held in a few months. Infighting is also hurting the party in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka.

In Haryana, Mrs.Gandhi has managed to pacify the sulking former Chief Minister, Mr.  Bhupinder Singh Hooda, by appointing him as chairman of the Election Committee and the CLP as well as the leader of the party.

However, problems in the party unit are far from being resolved. The  former state president, Mr.  Ashok Tanwar, is unhappy and has declared that he would cooperate with Mr. Hooda in the same manner the former CM has behaved with him during his tenure.

Turf war has also come out in the open in Maharashtra, with Mr. Sanjay Nirupam and Mr. Milind Deora being at loggerheads. Senior party leader, Mr.  Kripa Shankar Singh recently quit the party and the former Chief Minister, Mr.  Ashok Chavan, is refusing to move out of the state as wanted by the party leadership.

In Madhya Pradesh, Mr. Jyotiraditya Scindia, who is at loggerheads with the Chief Minister, Mr.  Kamal Nath, has started flexing his muscles.
Though he lost his Lok Sabha seat, he is keen to head the state Congress.

His supporters like Mr. Govind Singh Rajput and Mr. Umang Singhar have also attacked senior party leader and former Chief Minister, Mr.  Digvijay Singh. The matter is pending before the Disciplinary Committee headed by Mr. AK Antony.

Mrs.Gandhi has tried to pacify Mr. Scindia by appointing him as Chairman of the Screening Committee of Maharashtra.

A similar situation prevails in Rajasthan, where the Chief Minister, Mr.  Ashok Gehlot,  and the Deputy Chief Minister, Mr.  Sachin Pilot, have been fighting.

Mr.  Pilot, who was eyeing the Chief Minister's post after the polls in December last year  was overlooked by the  leadership, is trying to impress upon Mrs. Gandhi that he is the right choice.

Divisions are also seen in the party unit in Karnataka where it lost its coalition government with JD(S) due to desertion by MLAs in July.

Some  leaders are blaming the former Chief Minister, Mr.  Siddaramaiah, for the exodus of the MLAs.

In Punjab also things are not fine with the party as the former PCC president, Mr.  Pratap Singh Bajwa and former minister, Mr.  Navjot Singh Sidhu, have been training their guns on the Chief Minister, Capt.  Amarinder Singh.

The party is also in a dismal state in Goa, where 10 out of its 15 legislators switched over to the ruling BJP in July.