Days after the All India Congress Committee (AICC) selected Ajay Kumar Lallu as the party’s UP unit chief and constituted the state Congress Committee, voices of dissent have started surfacing.
On Thursday, senior Congress leader and former MP from Varanasi, Rajesh Mishra, turned down the post of member of the advisory council to party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi.
Eighteen senior party leaders, including former Union ministers and former MPs, have been inducted in the newly formed advisory council.
However, Mishra, who worked closely with former Congress president Rahul Gandhi during the previous elections in UP and in Bihar, said he was “just a worker” and that he did not “have the stature to advise someone”.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Mishra said, “I had asked senior leaders in the AICC to remove my name. I have been a Congressman and would remain a Congressman, but I am not the one who can give advice.”
While Mishra said he has no issues with the party, he added that many within it feel that there should have been a “balance of the old and young in the committee made for the revival of the party”.
“There is a lot of work which is required on the ground. In the new committee, a majority of members are below 40-45 years of age. It has been a tradition of Congress that it takes everyone along; be it junior or senior, be it of any caste or creed. But if a committee is formed with one criterion and then there is Youth Congress also, what would be the criteria for the main party,” Mishra said. “So senior Congress leaders, above the age of 50, should think of what would they do in Congress now.”
He also expressed unhappiness over selection of Ajay Kumar Lallu as state Congress chief, saying that many in the party feel he was unable to handle even seven members in the legislature, who are leaving, but added that it is the decision of the party, which would be accepted by everyone.