In a setback for the Congress, an MLA, an MLC and a zila panchayat chairperson from Rae Bareli have announced that they are no longer with the party, citing neglect on the part of the top rung despite them winning consistently from their seats.
MLC Dinesh Pratap Singh, MLA Rakesh Pratap Singh from Harchandpur constituency and the party’s lone zila panchayat chairman in Uttar Pradesh, Awadhesh Pratap Singh — all brothers — have said that their family had brought prestige to the party even when it had a hard time winning seats in the state.
Dinesh told The Indian Express that while he had not decided his course of action, he and other members of his family were no longer with the Congress.
While state party president Raj Babbar said no official resignations had come in, the exit of the brothers would be a cause for concern not just in the district (represented by former Congress president Sonia Gandhi), but at the state level as well. It would mean that the Congress would no longer have any zila panchayat chairman in the state, and have just one MLC (Deepak Singh) out of 100 and six MLAs out of 403.
“At a time when a BJP candidate from local body quota lost in the Legislative Council elections in the PM’s Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi, we won the seat from Sonia’s constituency. We won the only zila panchayat seat and an MLA seat… We did not get this because of the Congress,” said Dinesh.
Speculation about the brothers distancing themselves from the Congress began after Awadhesh issued a statement Tuesday: “Panchwati (family’s palatial house in Rae Bareli) no longer belongs to Congress… we are consulting our well-wishers…”
Congress leaders in the district said the development comes at a time when the post of zila panchayat chairman could be eligible for a “no-confidence” motion. The last “no-confidence motion” against Awadhesh took place a year ago. “Then, he (Dinesh) had shown signs of revolt. His brother won the motion, but it might not be easy this time,” said a party leader.