By Purvi Jain
Congress has suspended Sanjay Jha with an immediate effect on “anti-party activities and breach of discipline”.
The notice issued by Maharashtra Congress came on late Tuesday which was signed by Balasaheb Thorat, chief of the party’s state unit, who came shortly after Mr. Jha appeared on NDTV’s “left, right and center”.
In his immediate reaction to his suspension, he told NDTV, “nothing surprises me. What are the anti-party activities I indulged in? The least the Congress could have done was to approach me”.
“We are showing an extremely intolerant culture”, he says, adding, “I’ve always maintained that unit we get out internal democracy right we will struggle to become a serious political contestant to the BJP?”.
Action from Congress comes amid chaos in But Rajasthan, where Ashok Gehlot government is teetering on the edge after the open revolt of Sachin Pilot.
This is a revolt Congress leader suggested could have been avoided. Party leadership could have much better decisions and would have rewarded people who made a contribution to its growth.
Today Mr. Jha posted a tweet saying, “for five years Sachin Pilot gave his blood, tears, toil, and sweat for the Congress party between 2013 and 2018. The Congress came back from a wretched 21 seats to 100. We just gave him a performance bonus. We are so meritocratic. We are so transparent”.
The stand-off between Mr. Pilot seen as a congress’s dynamic younger leader and a key asset and the party made a critical comparison between the party and another dynamic young leader- Jyotiraditya Scindia.
In March, Mr. Scindia was left disgruntled after he was being passed over for the top post in Madhya Pradesh, crossed over BJP taking 22 MLA’s and paving the way for the fall of Kamal Nath government and return of BJP.
The top leadership of Congress was criticized for being slow to react to the simmering unrest in the state and refusing to address Mr. Scindia’s unhappiness.
The similarities in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan crisis and congress handling of these two leaders have drawn criticism too. On Saturday, former Union Minister Kapil Sibal questions, “worried for our party. Will we wake up only after the horses have bottled from our stable”.
Mr. Jha, a veteran leader of the congress was removed last month after a critical takedown of his party. After it was published, he doubled down on his criticism, tweeted congress has “drifted far” from its values.
He stressed but remained a “committed, fearless ideological soldier” of the party.
Twitter’s bio of Mr. Jha now reads: “Congressi by DNA. Sacked as National Spokesperson for writing: ‘India need a reawakened and revitalized congress, ready to win the second freedom struggle”