Why Jayanthi Natarajan Decided to Quit Congress Now?

The timing to quit Congress has come for former minister Jayanthi Natarajan at a time when it makes no sense. Her decision taken immediately after sack from the cabinet in December 2013 would have made sense and gained sympathy but now it is too late and irrelevant.

Prio to her press conference, she has reportedly written a letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi seeking explanation why she was asked to quit and blamed Rajiv Gandhi for interference and brought an end to her loyalty to the Gandhis with an open revolt.

Her letter, contnt published in The Hindu, brings her first question to Sonia Gandhi in her version: “I want to place on record, that from December 20, 2013, until now, I have still not been told by you, why I was asked to resign from the Council of Ministers, nor have I ever been asked or given an opportunity to explain, if indeed I had committed any wrongdoing.”

She has blamed Rahul Gandhi’s office for planting stories that said she was indeed, sacked and there is no party work assigned to her ahead of Lok Sabha elections in December.

Jayanthi Natarajan

Jayanthi Natarajan

Blaming Rahul’s aides form planting stories, Natarajan said, “The next day my resignation was headlines in the media… to my shock, I received information that persons from the office of Shri Rahul Gandhi were calling the media and planting stories that my resignation was NOT for party work.”

Natarajan, on December 21 had resigned from the post of environment Minister. The problem with her was that she took it on her stride for over a year and then vented her views in public now. Had she felt sidelined, she should have quit the party and go on to another like-minded party or set her own shop, which she did not do.

Secondly, Jayanthi Natarajan failed to go back to the roots in her state Tamil Nadu to revive the party, which would have saved her from Rajiv Gandhi’s ire and proved that she indeed was a reliable leader to reckon with in a tough state like Tamil Nadu.

If these two options were not feasible, she should have joined the BJP openly and could have retained her position as a leader worth a cabinet post by now. With all the blunders behind, it is ironic that Natarajan, despite her stature and standing in politics, chose to revolt openly too late to nobody’s praise.

With her experience in Tamil Maanila Congress (TMC), she could have easily started a regional party to take roots in Tamil Nadu. Unfortunately, none of the Congress leaders from Tamil Nadu retained links with home state when they shifted to Delhi and that is another reason for the high command to sideline them easily.

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