While Priyanka Gandhi Vadra screams about women empowerment and chants “Ladki Hoon, Lad Sakti Hu”, the Congress party has rehabilitated a Congress worker accused of sexual harassment. Congress last week reinstated Ranajit Mukherjee, accused of sexual harassment, and made him the secretary of the three key states- Tripura, Nagaland and Sikkim. Mukherjee was removed from party posts last year after he was accused of harassing a party colleague and displaying “predatory behaviour” against another woman.

On the 23rd of December, Congress had appointed three AICC secretaries. Congress had appointed Ranajit Mukherjee, Szarita Laitphang and Tajinder Pal Singh Bittu as AICC secretaries. Of the three, Mukherjee has been accused of sexual harassment.

With months left for the all-important Uttar Pradesh state assembly elections, almost all political parties that are entering the fray have launched political campaigns to woo their prospective voters. While the BJP has centred its campaign around developmental work and its Hindutva roots, other political parties such as Samajwadi Party are still relying on the old hack of caste dynamics to stop CM Yogi Adityanath from returning to power. 

The Congress party, which was once the focal point of the Indian political arena, however, is struggling to mount a reasonable campaign to provide a credible alternative to the voters in Uttar Pradesh. Rahul Gandhi, like always, is on a wild goose chase, trying to revive the political fortunes of a party that seems to be irredeemably consigned to the fringes of Indian politics. Similarly, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, too, appears to be complimenting her brother in ensuring that Congress remains out of contention in the upcoming UP assembly elections.

Clutching on to straws, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had first come up with the “Ladki Hoon, Lad Sakti Hoon” slogan to try and contest on the plank of women empowerment. Soon, she made a ludicrous statement that showed how out of depth she really was. Priyanka Vadra, perhaps with the aim of mobilising women voters behind the Congress party, proclaimed that LPG cylinders and toilets are not women empowerment.

While Priyanka did not consider moves to empower women as women empowerment, it is interesting that now Congress has abandoned the plank completely and reinstated a leader accused of sexual harassment and predatory behaviour.

What were the allegations against Ranajit Mukherjee

It was only last year that Ranajit Mukherjee had resigned from his post as AICC secretary after Rajya Sabha member Rajeev Gowda, chairman of the party’s research department undertook an internal investigation on the accusations of sexual harassment against him.

Mukherjee was also a part of the party’s research department and his resignation was accepted after the allegations had surfaced.

During the 2018 Rajasthan Assembly Elections, a woman from the NSUI had submitted a written complaint against Mukherjee and another colleague from the Congress research department had also alleged that Mukherjee was indulging in predatory behaviour.

Though he has shown a pattern of misconduct with women, the Congress party has reinstated Mukherjee. In fact, the reinstatement of Mukherjee comes even as the investigation into his sexual misconduct has not reached its conclusion.



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