The controversy over the expulsion of 10 senior Congress leaders from the party in Uttar Pradesh has now taken a casteist turn with a section of leaders claiming that mainly upper-caste leaders were targeted. Of the 10 leaders who were expelled on November 24, five are Brahmins and three are Thakurs. The five Brahmin leaders expelled include Ram Krishna Dwivedi, Satyadev Tripathi, Bhoodar Narain Misra, Nek Chandra Pandey, and Swayam Prakash Goswami. The three Thakur leaders who have been shown the door are Santosh Singh, Rajendra Singh Solanki, and Sanjiv Singh. The sole Muslim leader to be expelled is Haji Siraj Mehdi while Vinod Chaudhary belongs to the Yadav community. One of the disgruntled leaders said, "The Congress is trying to woo Brahmins and Jitin Prasada is taking out a 'Brahmin Chetna Yatra' in the state. At the same time, the party has expelled its five seniormost leaders belonging to the Brahmin community."
He said that in their separate meetings with Congress leaders, they had suggested that the party should focus on upper castes because the BJP, SP, and BSP were going overboard in wooing OBCs and Dalits. "But the party high command appointed an OBC - Ajay Kumar Lallu - as UPCC chief and is now targeting upper castes. In such a situation, why would the upper castes veer towards Congress?" he asked. Meanwhile, support is growing for the expelled leaders who now plan to hold a meeting on November 30 to discuss their future strategy.
"Several former ministers and legislators are contacting us because they share our concern for the Congress. The party leadership should address the issues instead of targeting individuals," said expelled leader Haji Siraj Mehdi. A former UPCC president, on the other hand, said that the expulsions were "unfortunate". "People are leaving the party in search of greener pastures and we should try to keep the flock together instead of throwing out our seniors," he said.
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