Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh Congress suffered a major setback on Sunday as the former State head of the Youth Congress, Nadeem Ashraf Jaisi (53) along with entire former team joined the Aam Admi Party.
Other ex-office bearers Muneesh Chaudhary (ex-vice president), Watan Sinha and Dhanraj Sonkar (both secretaries) also switched sides in the presence of AAP national leader and Delhi Sanjay Singh who was in Lucknow on Sunday to hold victory march to celebrate the Delhi Assembly results, address a party meet and announce plan to expand the party base in UP.
“Jaisi hails from Jais in Rai Bareli and has been close to Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka. He was the Youth Congress head for almost 10 years and has a good rapport in the cadre especially with the young”, says a senior party leader.
In a letter written to the Congress members on Sunday, Jaisi blames JNU alumnus Sandeep Singh, believed to be political advisor of Rahul and Priyanka, for pursing a “different ideology” than those of Gandhi and Nehru and “sidelining” the senior party leaders.
“To make matter worse, a person from Rihai Manch (NGO) who never worked for Congress has been made Rai Bareli in-charge and UP Congress secretary. Hence, I felt suffocated,” writes Jaisi in his heartfelt letter, a copy of which is available with FPJ.
Party leaders admit that it is big setback for the party and cadre, both which look forward to the upcoming Assembly elections under the leadership of Priyanka Gandhi.
A party leader admits, “This also suggests that young Congress members are losing confidence in the State leadership due to erred policies and look at AAP for better prospects. Many leaders are feeling suffocated after far leftist leaders from JNU and other Central universities have been given charge of the most departments in UP.”
Insiders say that two Congress MLA might also drift to AAP anticipating bleak prospects in the 2022 polls. The party has just seven legislators in UP Assembly.
Virendra Madan, party spokesperson claimed, “There will be no impact of Jaisi and others quitting the party. Jaisi had gone to BSP in the past and had returned to party fold before 2017 State polls.”
Mr Madan also rejected Jaisi’s accusations that party ideology is not being followed by Sandeep Singh, who is running the show now.