22 September, 2020

Renegade Man

Unlike sarkari rebels, Sonia has cause to fear Prasada

Renegade Man

For the past week, even at 2 am, Congress MP Jitendra Prasada's home is alive with activity, as senior Congress leaders-Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijay Singh, Orissa pcc chief J.B. Patnaik, MP Kamal Nath-pop in and out. Everyone is on edge, in anticipation of Prasada announcing his challenge to Congress president Sonia Gandhi in the party elections early next month.

"A contest for party president is not a challenge," says Prasada, looking cheerful. And well he might. The Congress leader is, for once, in a win-win situation. If, as expected, he loses, Prasada will become a rallying point for dissidents who must from time to time, be mollified by the party high command. And if he's persuaded not to contest, it will be at a heavy price.

Prasada has cleverly positioned himself as the champion of the party worker; "Jiti bhai" stands for inner-party democracy and the empowerment of the karyakarta who doesn't have a voice in party affairs. The irony of Prasada, charged with rigging polls in erstwhile Congress president Sitaram Kesri's favour in 1997,...



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