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Vanishing Team Of Rahul Gandhi Faces More Challenge As INDIA Bloc Seat-Sharing Deal Turns Lethal For Congress

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Rahul Gandhi has kicked off programs for his Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra from Manipur today but at the same time, his party Congress has suffered a massive setback in Maharashtra where senior party leader Milind Deora resigned from the party and has joined CM Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena. While the Congress leaders have accused the BJP of hatching conspiracy ahead of Rahul Gandhi’s yatra, the grand old party has turned a blind eye to a storm that is brewing within the party. 

According to reports, Milind Deora resigned after Congress agreed to let Shiv Sena-UBT retain Mumbai South Parliamentary seat. Deora was adamant about contesting the seat and thus left the party. Deora is the first casualty of the INDIA Bloc seat-sharing deal. With the impending general elections this year, the Congress is navigating a delicate balance, aiming to steer clear of potentially embarrassing incidents akin to Sachin Pilot’s rebellion in Rajasthan—a state they recently lost in the assembly elections.

The Mumbai South Seat is currently held by Arvind Sawant of the Shiv Sena, aligned with Uddhav Thackeray’s faction. Since Sena UBT won the seat when it was in alliance with the BJP, if Shinde Sena fields Deora from the seat, it might be looking at a potential winning candidate with a proven track record in the constituency. 

For Congress, Deora’s departure marks a significant loss for the Congress, particularly in terms of shaping the party’s strategy in the region. This exit creates a void that may pose challenges to fill in the upcoming elections. 

As the Lok Sabha election gets closer, the Congress has lost a leader of calibre who commands a significant vote share in the region. While Sawant had got around 4.21 lakh votes in the 2019 polls, Deora was runner-up with over 3 lakh votes. Deora’s exit will also have an impact on the impending Maharashtra assembly elections. 

Deora’s exit also marks the increasing void within the Congress as leaders who were once close to Rahul Gandhi are slowly deserting the party. This includes Jyotiraditya Scindia, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Hardik Patel, Ashwani Kumar, Sunil Jakhar, RPN Singh, Amarinder Singh, Jitin Prasada, and Anil Antony among others. 

Now, the Congress party is already in talks with the Aam Aadmi Party, Samajwadi Party, and Trinamool Congress for seat sharing in Punjab, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. Since Congress has shown a willingness to take a backseat in the seat-sharing deal, it will be ceding more seats to INDIA bloc partners and that may certainly hurt the ambition of its many leaders. If the Congress party fails to control the dissent, then more leaders may quit the party ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, further weakening the party. 

The Congress has already witnessed voices of dissent over its decision to avoid the Ram Temple consecration ceremony. Leaders from across the northern belt are reportedly unhappy with the party’s move to desist from attending the Ram temple event. These issues are crucial and Congress needs a solution at the earliest. Otherwise, for a party which is almost on life-support for the last two parliamentary polls, the coming days will be more challenging.



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