The working president of Jharkhand, Bandu Tirkey has written an “explosive letter” to the high command suggesting the decline of the party. The letter accessed by The Sunday Guardian suggests several communities drifting away from the Congress which could affect its electoral prospects in Lok Sabha elections in the state.
Although the letter does not name any leader in particular, but the draft is seen as a direct attack on the functioning of the current leadership of the state led by the Congress state president Rajesh Thakur and the in-charge Avinash Pandey.
The letter reads, “Several communities such as Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, tribal Christians and other backward caste are drifting away from the Congress.” Moreover, the letter details the Congress’ inability to assert themselves in order to get such communities back to the party. He also writes that all these sects are gradually distancing themselves from Congress and Rahul Gandhi should come to Jharkhand to do rallies to lift the spirit of the rank and file. A top Congress leader in the state said, “There are voters who are swaying away from Congress because our PCC has unfortunately surrendered in front of the Jharkhand Mukhti Morcha. If Mr Bandu Tirkey has said that the party’s traditional voter is swaying away from the party, it is true.”
However, a section of the Congress has questioned how a person holding a high position in the party can say that the Congress is getting weaker. “If he is saying such a thing, he should also be responsible for it,” a party leader opposed to the letter said. Jharkhand Pradesh Congress Committee president, Rajesh Thakur, told The Sunday Guardian, “Everyone has their own opinion, I think people keep the high command acquainted with their opinions. And when the high command takes a decision, they consider such things. So, everyone has the right to put out their opinions. But when it is about the organisation, people from every community are represented adequately and given responsibilities too.” He added, “We can suggest things; so, he would have suggested in his own way. But when we suggest such things in such a way we tend to point fingers towards our own self. And by this, we call ourselves a failure—that what we have done has not been done rightly. Congress has this in them that they take everyone along with themselves. But yes, when the elections come, we will gauge the candidates and see which candidates have to be encouraged for the electoral battle.” Senior leaders within the party suggest that Bandu Tirkey has aspirations to become the PCC chief of Jharkhand which has made him an opponent of the current leadership, else he could have communicated with the state leadership and ironed out the differences, rather than sending the letter to the high command indicating the inability of the state leadership. Sources suggest that Bandu Tirkey was facilitated by Rajesh Thakur to join the Congress even when there was opposition from a section of Congress leaders.