LUCKNOW: After taking feedback from party cadre and evaluating the reasons for the 2019 Lok Sabha poll debacle in Uttar Pradesh, the Congress high command is set to act against eight leaders who face expulsion while 14 others may be issued show-cause notices.
The two dozen leaders under the scanner for playing a dubious role during the polls and indulging in suspicious activities include many from the Gandhi bastions of Rae Bareli and Amethi as well as the state headquarters Lucknow.
Priyanka Gandhi, who is also in charge of the party in eastern UP, is believed to have given her nod to the expulsion of at least eight leaders on the basis of the recommendations of the party’s three-member disciplinary committee, comprising former MLA Anugrah Narain Singh, Vinod Chaudhary and Ram Jiavan. The panel was set up by the party general secretary right after the 2019 poll results to identify ‘black sheep’ who worked to ensure the grand old party’s worst-ever performance in Uttar Pradesh so far.
Notably, the Congress could win just one of 66 seats it contested in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections. While UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi retained her Rae Bareli seat, the party got a rude shock when Congress chief Rahul Gandhi lost his fort in Amethi to the BJP’s Smriti Irani.
“Congress suffered the beating not only due to rivals but also the ‘Vibhishans’ (moles) present in the party. While the process to find out the reasons for such a decimation was on, the disciplinary panel stumbled upon many such elements who would now be brought to book,” said a senior Congress leader.
All the three members of the disciplinary panel were summoned by Priyanka Gandhi and met her at Rahul Gandhi’s residence in New Delhi on Tuesday. Highly placed Congress sources claimed that after hearing the names of the leaders found indulging in anti-party activities which dented the party’s prospects, Priyanka was of the view that they should be shown the door immediately.
Meanwhile, 14 district and state-level leaders would be issued a show-cause notice and further action would be taken on the basis of their explanation. The leaders belong to Amethi, Rae Bareli, Ambedkar Nagar, Prayagraj, Kaushambi, Azamgarh, Dumariayganj, Deoria, Fatehpur, Pratapgarh and Kanpur. In the wake of the revelations, Priyanka has reportedly increased the tenure of the disciplinary committee by a month.