UP Cong yet to come in action mode for 2024 general election

  • | Sunday | 14th August, 2022

Lucknow, Aug 14 (PTI) The Congress is yet to put its house in order in Uttar Pradesh following its drubbing in the recent Assembly polls and a section of the party"s state unit feels that the delay might impede efforts for a revival in the 2024 general elections.The party is in the throes of an "existential crisis" with no state unit chief after Ajay Kumar Lallu"s removal in March following its worst ever show in the Assembly elections. The Congress could get only two seats, down from the earlier seven in the state, which has 403 Assembly seats.Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who has been calling the shots in UP, had come to attend the party’s three-day "Nav Sankalp Karyashala" in the first week of June but left the same day.Later, Priyanka made public that she tested positive for coronavirus.Congress leaders, however, say efforts are afoot to improve the party"s standing.The stakes are high for the Congress in the general election as well since it will be fighting to increase its tally and save its last bastion Rae Bareli, the only Lok Sabha seat it could bag in the state, which sends 80 MPs to parliament.In the last Lok Sabha polls, the Congress had lost its Amethi fortress.Some leaders point at the absence of the state party chief ahead of the next general election.A former Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) chief, on the condition of anonymity, told PTI, "There is an identity and existential crisis in the party"s UP unit, especially due to the absence of a state unit chief. Party workers are in a state of dilemma and fingers are being raised at the party"s central leadership." "The defeat in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and subsequent performance has created a situation of indecisiveness in the minds of party workers," the leader said.Another party leader from eastern Uttar Pradesh admitted that "party workers do face problems in the absence of a state unit chief".But senior Congress leader PL Punia told PTI, "There are no dull moments in the life of a Congress party worker as far as activities of the party are concerned." The party has already announced that it will launch from September 7 a Kanyakumari to Kashmir "Bharat Jodo Yatra" in which party workers and leaders, including Rahul Gandhi, will participate, he said.A senior party leader from western UP told PTI, "The UP unit of the Congress will soon get its chief. There is also a possibility of dividing UP into six regions and appointing a working president for each of those units." Dismissing that the absence of the state unit chief is hurting the party"s prospects, former leader of the Congress Legislative Party in UP Assembly Pradeep Mathur said, "Every Congress worker in UP knows that for them the leader is Priyanka Gandhiji.” "Everybody knows that she is the general secretary and the one in charge of UP. Workers are directly associated with her and she is in touch with party workers," he said.As far as our preparations are concerned, party workers are covering 15 km on motorcycles almost every day, maintaining a one-to-one relationship with the public, he said."Workers are enthusiastically participating in the party"s programmes and in no way we are lagging in the preparations," Mathur claimed.A former member of the UP Legislative Council said, "Almost every party, including the BJP, in UP has an ad-hoc chief. The UP Congress will get its chief soon. The delay is there since this time it was decided that the party"s state unit chief will be appointed after consulting the workers. The party has already staged massive demonstrations against price rise and the district units of the party are continuously working." UP Congress spokesperson Ashok Singh said, "The party is gearing up for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. The BJP-led state government has failed on all fronts and people from across the country are looking for an alternative, he said. PTI NAV SNS RDK NSD NSD

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