After P.V. Narasimha Rao stepped down as president of the Congress in September 1996, Kesri was appointed as the new president of the grand old party
New Delhi: How about Rajnath Singh's name as a former BJP president being quietly deleted from the BJP website? Sounds weird right? Well, something similar has happened but with the Congress where it unceremoniously cropped out a major Gandhi family dissenter Sitaram Kesri's name from the former Congress presidents' list.
After P.V. Narasimha Rao stepped down as president of the Congress in September 1996, Kesri was appointed as the new president of the grand old party. So naturally, his name as former Congress president should figure in the time bracket of 1990-2018. But Surprisingly, www.inc.in has only two names between that time bracket: PV Narasimha Rao and Sonia Gandhi.
Why Sitaram Kesri's name is significant?
Kesri was an old Congress hand who rose in the ranks of the Congress. From being the Bihar Congress Committee president to All India Congress Committee (AICC) treasurer and finally the party's top job, Kesri did it well. But he is known not for being the Congress president but how shabbily he was stripped off his post to place Sonia Gandhi as the party chief.
After the electoral defeat in the midterm election caused by the withdrawal of support from allies, a lot of heat was generated against Kesri, as the party chief. On that infamous Congress working committee, old faithful like Pranab Mukherjee 'conspired' to sack Kesri. All dissents were thrown out of the window, party constitution was disregarded, many argue. Tariq Anwar, who later left the Congress to join NCP and very recently came back to the same Congress, was allegedly roughed up for presenting a case for Kesri on the same CWC meeting on March 14, 1998.
Kesri has always been seen as a thorn by the old guard of the Congress. Hence his name going missing from the former Congress presidents list is widely perceived as less of a technical glitch and more of a continued personal animosity that has turned toxic over the years.
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Last Updated Jun 3, 2019, 9:39 PM IST