11 Leaders Who Quit Since 2019

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Rahul Gandhi's Vanishing Team: 11 Leaders Who Quit Since 2019

New Delhi:

The Congress suffered a big jolt today ahead of its mega yatra that aims to boost workers’ morale ahead of the upcoming national elections. Senior leader Milind Deora’s resignation marks the end of his family’s 55-year relationship with the party, he said in an online post.

Here are some of the biggest Congress exits in the past few years:

Milind Deora

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Former Union Minister Milind Deora, son of Congress veteran Murli Deora, resigned from the Congress on Sunday. He is expected to join the Shiv Sena led by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde later in the day. He had recently expressed displeasure over the Uddhav Thackeray faction, a part of the opposition alliance, claiming to contest from the Mumbai South seat.

Kapil Sibal

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Former Union minister Kapil Sibal resigned from the Congress on May 16, 2022, but made the announcement over a week later, moments after filing his nomination for Rajya Sabha as an independent supported by Samajwadi Party. He had later told NDTV that his decision was not sudden and he will not join any party.

Ghulam Nabi Azad

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Congress veteran Ghulam Nabi Azad’s resignations was among the biggest exits the party suffered in 2022. The former chief minister of undivided Jammu and Kashmir, who was also party of the G-23 dissident group, called out Rahul Gandhi for “immaturity” in the party, in his bombshell resignation letter. He has now floated his regional party in J&K – Democratic Progressive Azad Party.

Hardik Patel

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Gujarat Patidar leader Hardik Patel quit the Congress in May 2022 with his resignation letter pummelling Rahul Gandhi, who had brought him into the party in 2019. Top leaders, he wrote in his letter, “were distracted by their mobile phones” and the Gujarat Congress was more interested in ensuring “chicken sandwiches” for them. He joined the BJP a month later.

Ashwani Kumar

Ashwani Kumar, a former Union minister, resigned from the Congress in February 2022, just days before Punjab went to polls. A party veteran, he was the first senior UPA cabinet minister to quit the party following their drubbing in the 2019 elections.

Sunil Jakhar

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Sunil Jakhar, who had headed the Punjab Congress unit, quit the party in 2022 after the leadership showcaused him for criticising then chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi. He joined the BJP in May and was named its Punjab unit chief in July that year.

RPN Singh

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Former Union minister RPN Singh quit the Congress and joined the BJP on January 2022, becoming the most prominent leader to do so just before Uttar Pradesh elections. Mr Singh, a key backward caste leader, had reportedly been upset over being sidelined in the UP campaign led by Priyanka Gandhi.

Jyotiraditya Scindia

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Jyotiraditya Scindia, now a Union minister, quit the Congress and joined the BJP in 2020, engineering a mass defection that brought down the Kamal Nath government and helped Shivraj Singh Chouhan to the helm in Madhya Pradesh. The royal scion is the son of Madhavrao Scindia, a former Union Minister.

Jitin Prasada

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Jitin Prasada, a former Union minister who was once close to Rahul Gandhi, crossed over to the BJP in 2021, a year before the Uttar Pradesh elections. He was the Congress’s top Brahmin face in UP. “BJP is the only real political party. It’s the only national party. The rest are regional,” he had said defending his decision.

Alpesh Thakor

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Alpesh Thakor, a former Congress MLA, quit the party in July 2019 after voting against the party candidate in bypolls to two Rajya Sabha seats. He joined the BJP days later and was fielded for the bypoll from Radhapur, but lost the seat. He won from Gandhinagar South in last year’s elections.

Anil Antony

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Anil Antony, son of Congress veteran AK Antony, quit the party in January last year and joined the BJP next month, praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi for having a very clear vision of putting India in a leading place. AK Antony, a former defence minister, had expressed anguish and disappointment over his son’s decision.

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