Only when a man is free can he truly speak his mind — and that’s what appears to be happening to former Congress loyalist Sanjay Jha.
Freed from the shackles of the Congress party after being suspended for “anti-party activities and breach of discipline,” former Congress spokesperson Sanjay Jha has been torching his former party and colleagues. He’s trained his guns at Congress’ culture, pointed out the reasons behind its decline, and even taken potshots at the party’s dynastic scion. Here are some of his best burns:
1. On Rahul Gandhi: Leaders must have a fan club, not a fawn club
Jha has hinted that Rahul Gandhi has become inaccessible to the common Congress worker. “(The) close coterie around him that pre-selects his access, which is absurd as most of them would not know the difference between Muzzafarpur and Muzzafarnagar. Leaders must have a fan club, not a fawn club,” Jha said in an interview.
2. Congress has
“dynastic succession baggage”
Sanjay Jha has implied that the Congress’ propensity to automatically pick a member of the Gandhi dynasty as its leader is turning out to be a burden. “When Rahul Gandhi resigned as Congress President following the 2019 Lok Sabha defeat, he was categorical that there should be a new non-Gandhi leader. In my opinion, Rahul’s intention was to get the Congress to rid itself of the dynastic succession baggage,” he said.
3. “The writing may be on the wall. But you still have to read it.”
Jha has hinted that the signs of Congress’s decline are apparent to everyone, but are somehow lost on the party itself. ” The writing may be on the wall. But you still have to read it,” he tweeted.
4. “I fully back Sachin Pilot”
Jha has implied that Ashok Gehlot, who has the backing of most of the Congress Establishment and interim President Sonia Gandhi, doesn’t deserve to be Chief Minister. “I fully back Sachin Pilot. Look at the facts: Rajasthan 2013 Assembly elections; CM- Mr Gehlot. Result: BJP- 163, Congress- 21 ( lowest ever) Rajasthan 2018 Assembly Elections: Result: BJP-73, Congress-100. One man slogged 5 years for it; Sachin. But who becomes the CM?” he tweeted.
5. There’s no internal democracy in the Congress
It’s hardly a secret that there’s no internal democracy in the Congress, but it’s still interesting to hear it from an insider. Jha has pointed out the hypocrisy of asking MLAs to choose a CM in Rajasthan when there have been no elections to the Congress Working Committee, the party’s apex decision-making body, for 23 years.
Jha brought up the internal democracy argument again while contesting his expulsion from the party. “I saw your notice suspending my Congress membership on a TV channel for ‘ anti-party activities’,” he challenged the Congress leadership. “No show-cause notice and opportunity to reply was given. Internal democracy? Kindly list specific instances where I have indulged in sabotage,” he tweeted.
6. “The new Congress worries me”
Jha said that the new Congress worried him after Salman Nizami, who has been vociferously defending Rahul Gandhi on social media of late, got into an online tussle with NDTV’s Nidhi Razdan. Nizami had asked Razdan to stop worrying about the Congress and “sit down”, to which Razdan called him an “unbridled misogynist”. Jha then remarked that the comments of some of the Congress’s most vocal supporters worried him.
7. Congress isn’t meritocractic or transparent
Jha mocked Sachin Pilot’s expulsion from the party, saying that he was sidelined even though he’d given it his blood and sweat and helped it win the 2018 Rajasthan elections. “We just gave him a performance bonus. We are so meritocratic. We are so transparent,” he said sarcastically.
8. Congress leaders at all levels are disillusioned, wondering what’s going on
Jha was the consummate Congress insider, and he’s now painted a picture of a party in disarray. “There are Congress leaders at all levels, including in the CWC, who are disillusioned and wondering what’s going on,” he said in an interview.
9. Epic Shashi Tharoor burn
And Jha hasn’t backed down from even hitting out at senior Congress leaders. After Ashok Gehlot had taken a jibe at Sachin Pilot by saying that speaking English, giving good sound-bytes and looking handsome wasn’t enough, Jha tweeted the same words, but added: “I hope my eminent colleague @ShashiTharoor slept well last night. :-)).” Jha clearly isn’t holding back, and if his current form is any indication, there could be a lot more explosive material that could come out in the days to come.
” Speaking good English, giving sound-bytes and looking handsome does not mean everything”.
I hope my eminent colleague @ShashiTharoor slept well last night. :-))
— Sanjay Jha (@JhaSanjay) July 16, 2020