Congress Young Guns: Going, Going, Gone
New Delhi: Milind Deora’s exit from the Congress on Sunday certainly didn’t come at an opportune time. As far as the Congress is concerned, it has come at the most inappropriate time – ahead of the Lok Sabha elections and on the day Rahul Gandhi has launched his ‘Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra’.
This is not the first time that Congress has lost one from its crop of young brigade. Before him, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Hardik Patel and Jitin Prasada had already quit the party citing different reasons. Let’s take a look:
Former union minister Milind Deora quit the Congress on Sunday and said he is going on the “path of development”. “I am going walking on the path of development,” Deora told reporters from outside his house. He is likely to meet Chief Minister Eknath Shinde at his official residence ‘Varsha’ and join the Shiv Sena. In a post on X, Deora said, “Today marks the conclusion of a significant chapter in my political journey. I have tendered my resignation from the primary membership of the Congress, ending my family’s 55-year relationship with the party. I am grateful to all leaders, colleagues and karyakartas for their unwavering support over the years.”
Before him, Hardik Patel, the face of the 2015 Patidar quota protests in Gujarat, who was even projected as the “future” of his state’s politics by some, exited the Congress in 2022. He joined the Congress in 2019 ahead of the Lok Sabha elections but failed to make any difference for his party as the BJP swept all parliamentary seats in Gujarat. Patel hasn’t made a significant mark in politics after that.
His was the most high-profile and shocking of all exits. Jyotiraditya Scindia helped the Congress to return to power in Madhya Pradesh in 2018 but ended his 18 years of association with the party in March 2020 over his fights with the party leadership in the state. At least 20 MLAs loyal to Scindia quit their assembly membership which resulted in the collapse of the Kamal Nath government. Later, Scindia joined the BJP and was also elected to the Rajya Sabha. After the Cabinet reshuffle in 2021, he was inducted into Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Cabinet. He was given the portfolio of Civil Aviation Minister, a position his father and late Congress leader Madhavrao Scindia also held from 1991 to 1993. Last month, he assumed the additional charge of the Steel Ministry, succeeding RCP Singh.
He started his career as a Youth Congress leader and was a prominent Brahmin face of the Congress in Uttar Pradesh. He was elected to Lok Sabha in 2004 for the first time and was a minister during the UPA regime at the Centre. Congress appointed him in charge of the 2021 West Bengal Assembly elections. However, the party faced a defeat in West Bengal. In June 2021, Prasada joined the BJP and became part of Yogi Adityanath’s Cabinet.
Notably, veterans like Ghulam Nabi Azad and Kapil Sibal too, have left the Congress party.