With Jitin Prasad's Exit from Congress, a Look at the History of Rebels in India’s Oldest Political Party

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File photo of Jitin Prasada

File photo of Jitin Prasada

In the latest such switch, former Union Minister Congress leader Jitin Prasada hopped over to the Bharatiya Janata Party on June 9.

News18 Last Updated:June 11, 2021, 09:41 ISTFOLLOW US ON:

The instances of rebellion by the leaders in Congress, India’s oldest party, can be traced as early as 1939 when Subhas Chra Bose parted ways with it, later another bigwig C Rajagopalachari left to form an independent party in 1957. The sporadic episodes of rebellion continued during after the era of India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.

In the latest such switch, former Union Minister Congress leader Jitin Prasada hopped over to the Bharatiya Janata Party on June 9.

ALSO READ | Will He Get ‘Prasada’ from BJP? Congress Leaders Call Jitin ‘Wrong Leader Who Couldn’t Deliver’

The former MP switched to the BJP just a year after Jyotiraditya Scindia jumped the ship to the saffron party. While a good number of rebels chose to switch to other parties, a large section floated their own parties gave a tough fight to the gr old party. Here’s a look at those who left the Congress party:

Jayaprakash Narayan

The revolt of Jayaprakash Narayan from the Congress brought the first-non Congress government in India after 30 years of independence. Soon after the Emergency, the Janata Party was formed in January 1977 by JP. By March 1977, the first ever non-Congress government was formed at the Centre.

Chra Shekhar

Despite being in the gr old party, Chra Shekhar vehemently criticised former Prime Minister Indira Ghi for her declaration of Emergency in 1975. He was arrested sent to prison during the Emergency. He too joined the Janata Party became the President of the Janata Party.

Jagjivan Ram

Jagjivan Ram was not as lucky as many others before after him. He was the youngest minister in Jawaharlal Nehru’s interim government, the first cabinet of India the member of the Constituent Assembly of India. He was a cabinet minister for several years. He remained a member of the Parliament right from the first election in 1952 till his death in 1986. When he quit the Congress in 1977, just weeks before the polls, he was the senior-most Minister in Indira Ghi’s Cabinet.

However, he could not become the Prime Minister, despite the switch. He served as the Deputy Prime Minister between 1977 79. In 1980, the Janata Party contested the polls with Jagjivan Ram as its Prime Ministerial cidate, but the party won only 31 seats out of 542.

Morarji Desai

India’s second Deputy Prime Minister quit the Congress during the split of 1969. Morarji Desai joined the INC(O). After the death of Nehru in 1964 that of Lal Bahadur Shastri in 1966, Desai emerged as a strong contender for the PM’s post. However, he could not get it Indira Ghi took the charge. In 1977, Desai was elected as the Prime Minister became the first non-Congress Prime Minister of India. In 1979, he was forced to resign as Raj Narain Charan Singh left the Janata Party alliance. He retired from politics after that.

Biju Patnaik

Patnaik was close to Indira Ghi. However, they clashed in 1969. He left the Congress formed a regional party—the Utkal Congress. He served as the Union Minister Odisha CM.

The Scindias

In 1967, Rajmata Vijaya Raje Scindia resigned from the Congress contested the Lok Sabha polls from Swatantra Party, which later merged into Bharatiya Lok Dal. Cut to 2020, her grson Jyotiraditya Scindia resigned from the Congress joined the BJP – a party co-founded by his grmother.

In March 2020, Jyotiraditya joined the BJP along with his loyal MLAs. After being a part of the Congress since 2001, his switch led to the fall of the Kamal Nath government in Madhya Pradesh. The former Cabinet Minister under UPA II, Scindia was elected to the Rajya Sabha from Madhya Pradesh in 2020.

Mamata Banerjee

The West Bengal Chief Minister was with the Congress since 1970s till 1997. She left the party due to difference in political views with the then West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee president Somendra Nath Mitra. She floated her own party — the All India Trinamool Congress in 1998. The TMC is currently the fourth-largest party in the Lok Sabha with 20 seats has gained the status of a national party. She won the 2011 Assembly polls became the chief minister of West Bengal, ending 34-year rule of the Left. She is the second woman in India after Sheila Dikshit to run into third consecutive term as the CM.

Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy

In 2010, he quit the Congress founded the YSR Congress Party in 2011. He is currently serving as the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh.

Himanta Biswa Sarma

Himanta Biswa Sarma, who was with the Congress since the 1990s, joined the BJP in 2015. While he was a Cabinet Minister in the last government, he is currently the Chief Minister of Assam.

Pema Khu

A Congress leader between 2005 2016, Pema Khanu quit the party to join the BJP. He is currently the Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh.

Rita Bahuguna

She joined BJP in October 2016 after spending 24 years in Congress. She was elected to Lok Sabha in 2019.

N. Biren Singh

The Chief Minister of Manipur, he was with Congress during 2004 2016. He switched to BJP.

Those who returned to the Congress:

While several leaders quit the party never returned no matter what was their fate outside, t were a number of leaders who came back to the Congress after a break.

Madhavrao Scindia

Just like his son month, late Madhavrao quit the Congress in 1996 after he was denied a Lok Sabha ticket. He rebelled left the Congress to form the Madhya Pradesh Vikas Congress (MPVC). He won the elections. However, the elections produced a hung Parliament. In 1998, he returned to the party, unlike his son mother, merged the MPVC with Congress remained with the party until he died in 2001.

Pranab Mukherjee

The former President too had left the Congress party after he felt sidelined under the leadership of Rajiv Ghi. Considering himself to be the rightful successor of Indira Ghi, he rebelled floated his own party in West Bengal in 1986 — the Rashtriya Samajwadi Congress. In 1989, the party merged with Congress after reaching a consensus with Rajiv Ghi.

Sucheta Kripalani

After having ideological differences with Nehru, she disassociated herself with her husb’s party. However, unlike her husb, she re-joined Congress after a brief stint with the Kisan Mazdoor Praja Party (KMPP) in 1952. He husb, Acharya Kripalani, remained a critic of Nehru’s policies administration while working for social environmental causes.

Narayan Datt Tiwari, Arjun Singh, Natwar Singh Rangarajan Kumaramangalam

The leaders floated the All India Indira Congress (Tiwari) in 1996. The party later merged with the Congress in 1998 when Sonia Ghi took over the charge of the party.

Ajoy Kumar

The former Congress Jharkh chief quit the party in 2019 joined AAP. Within a year, in 2020, he came back to the Congress.

Gegong Apang

The Arunachal Pradesh’s longest serving Chief Minister started his political career in early 1970s with Congress. After a brief stay with BJP in 2003, he returned to the Congress. However, again in 2014, he quit the Congress re-joined the BJP.

Those who were expelled survived in politics:

The stories are not just about those who quit but also those who were sacked from the party but survived in the politics.

Sharad Pawar, P Sangma Tariq Anwar

In 1999, Sharad Pawar, Tariq Anwar PA Sangma were expelled from the Congress for raising the issue of Sonia Ghi’s foreign origin. They floated the ist Congress Party (NCP). Tariq Anwar re-joining the INC in 2018.

VP Singh

In 1988, he formed the Janata Dal party by merging various factions of the Janata Party. In the 1989 elections, the Front, with the support of the BJP, formed the government Singh became the seventh Prime Minister of India.

Ajit Jogi

Ajit Jogi floated Janta Congress Chhattisgarh party in 2016 after the former Chief Minister, along with his son, was expelled from the Congress due to anti-party activities. Jogi died in 2020.

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