After years of political wilderness in Uttar Pradesh Congress announces seven panel committees but leaves out big names
On Sunday the Congress party announced seven committees for polls, though the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections are two years away. This is a clear message to the rivals in the key heartland state that the party is serious to upgrade their game and get an uphill improvement in electoral challenges it faces in the state. However, big UP Congress leaders’ names were left out from the committees. These include former Union Minister JitinPrasada, ex-UP Congress chief Raj Babbar and AICC Jharkhand in-charge R P N Singh.
Congress has been unsuccessfully striving to have a significant presence in UP but has been largely ineffective for over three decades. In 2017 Assembly polls, Congress could just secure seven seats although it had an alliance with Samajwadi Party and an elaborate widespread campaign by Rahul Gandhi. Last year too in Lok Sabha elections the party could manage just one seat. This was the time when Nehru-Gandhi stronghold in Amethi was lost by Rahul Gandhi, the Congress party chief.
Now the party has started working on the manifesto, two years before the Lok Sabha elections. This is after Priyanka Gandhi took the charge as UP’s general secretary and is being said of wanting party to excel in 2022. Sources reveal that first manifesto consultation took place in January in Kanpur with around 48 organizations having participated in the meeting.
The six-member manifesto committee is being led by Salman Khurshid with other members being P L Punia, CLP leader Aradhana Misra Mona, AICC secretary Vivek Bansal, spokesperson Supriya Srinate and Amitabh Dubey. All India Professionals’ Congress will be headed by Shashi Tharoor and the policy coordinator will be Amitabh Dubey, son of Suman Dubey, family friend of Gandhis.
Outreach committee will be headed by Pramod Tiwari, Anugrah Narayan Singh, AICC in-charge of Uttarakhand will head membership committee. Rashid Alvi will head the media panel as his political comeback.
Rajeev Shukla and Sriprakash Jaiswal, former Union Ministers have also been left out from the committees.
The panel announcement was made on the same day when nine expelled UP Congress leaders were learnt to have written a letter to party chief Sonia Gandhi in which they have asked her to “rise above the affinity for the family” and focus on running the party on democratic values.