New Delhi: The appointment of popular poet Imran Pratapgarhi as new minority department head has raised eyebrows not only from the Congress workers but Muslim organisations too. The reason behind is that Pratapgarhi has never worked in the Congress organization and has been only a campaigner, though he unsuccessfully contested Lok Sabha elections from Moradabad in 2019.
Imran Pratapgarhi, after his appointment tweeted, “I will try to work hard to come up to the mark and the faith reposed by the leadership and minority department. I will be on roads on people’s issues.”
There is sharp criticism from the Muslim organizations after his appointment. President of Majlis e Muahawarat Navaid Hamid said that he has nothing personal against anybody as he strongly believes in developing sensible, mature political leadership amongst all communities including Muslims.
But said in a tweet that, “Minority Dept which has seen people like Jaffer Sharief, Arjun Singh, A.R. Antulay in the past is now handed over to a professional poet. What an achievement! People who advise Congress President, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi think Muslims deserve him as new head of party’s Minority Dept as a perfect #CrowdPuller in comparison with any other #MuslimCongressi & can fascinate Muslims with his Shayari.”
“These well wishers in Congress have a point as Muslims have been not more than as a crowd used from time to time for their purpose, by the jugglers in the past”, he added.
Not only people like him but Social Media is also abuzz. The Congress leaders specially Muslims in the party are puzzled about the new appointment of minority head as it’s being alleged that he has been AAP and SP sympathizer in the past.
Shakil Akhtar, a journalist points out, “for the young leaders there are many posts but in these times, Congress needs mature leadership of Muslims, and senior leader should have been appointed as this department was headed by stalwarts like Arjun Singh.”
But sources say that Imran hails from UP and is popular in the country, the assembly elections are next year and to make inroads in the minority votebank, which is at this time with Samajwadi Party, could be helpful. But Congress leaders in UP admit in unanimity that the party has only partial presence at grassroots level and sarcastically say that the party does not have any saving account to add up votes.
Another person whose appointment has raised eyebrows is Imran Masood who has been appointed Secretary co Incharge of Delhi, and has been controversial in his statements. The Congress leaders say that minority leaders in the Congress are being sidelined and plum posts are going to people coming from other parties.
The party needs an upper caste Brahmin leadership to dent into the BJP votes, say party insiders as UP has not seen any Chief Minister in more than thirty years and last Chief Minister was ND Tiwari, say insiders.
The Congress needs to get at least one dominant caste by its side which it is lacking since then. The present state president Ajay Kumar Lallu is fighter on the street but lacks caste identity, though he is OBC.
In Uttar Pradesh the minority votes have been shared between SP and BSP but the latter is getting weak day by day and during panchayat elections the SP has done better than other parties so the situation is favourable for the Samajwadi Party.
Congress leader Vishwanath Chaturvedi says, “Congress from last three decades is running behind a vote bank which is not theirs, that is OBC. The main vote of the party was Brahmin, Muslim and SC but Brahmin was key which ensured that Muslim and SC remain intact with them.”