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New team to campaign for LS polls

Taking 2014 Lok Sabha polls as major challenge, AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi himself launched the preparations for party in Uttar Pradesh. Recently Rahul Gandhi removed all the eight zonal heads of party organisation following complaints that they were not devoting time for the rebuilding the party at grass root level.

Those removed include prominent leaders like union ministers  R P N Singh, and Jitin Prasad  MPs, P L Punia and RajaRam Pal and CWC member Rasheed Masood and others leaders like Vivek Singh, Anugrah Narain Singh and Brijendra Singh. Rahul Gandhi replaced these senior leaders by local leaders who are expected to devote time in rebuilding the party organisation at the booth level in the state to face lok Sabha polls. It would be worth mentioning that the concept of dividing the party organisation into eight zones and giving more powers to zonal heads to revive the party at the grass root is brainchild of Rahul Gandhi. With senior leaders becoming the zonal heads and reporting direactly to UP incharge and Rahul Gandhi, the authority of UPCC president Nirmal Khattri had been eroded and his job had been restricted only to coordinate the zonal heads.  After the realisation of emerging too many power centers, Rahul Gandhi replaced the senior leaders with local leaders who would now report directly to UPCC president.

Following directive from Rahul Gandhi, UPCC president held meeting of all the newly appointed zonal heads, coordinators, district and city units presidents  and asked them to start preparations for Lok Sabha polls and make their presence felt among the public by raising public related issues. UPCC president Nirmal Khattri asked all the zonal heads and other leaders to report to party headquarter about these agitations on regular basis. The new appointees have been asked by UPCC president to submit their plans and strategies in their respective district and zones beside setting up their committees by 10 June. UPCC president Nirmal Khattri is  also expected to announce the names of presidents of  remaining 83 district and city units very soon. It would be worth mentioning here that party had recently announced the names of new presidents for 38 district and city units. After building the organisation at grass root level, party would organise agitation not only in Lucknow but in almost all the districts,blocks and villages. Rahul Gandhi himself has promised to lead agitations in Lucknow as and when the party decides.

Besides building the party organisation, Rahul Gandhi has also started meeting important leaders of the party from state in groups and asked them to accept the challenge from the opposition and face the elections with full confidence. Rahul Gandhi has been telling party MPs and other leaders that if they faced the elections with full confidence and took the political rivals, they could get more than 40 seats in Lok Sabha from UP.

AICC vice-president has been asking party MPs and other important leaders to take the achievements of UPA government to masses. There is  a realisation in party workers  like Surendra Rajput who said that if senior leaders including ministers are able to take peoples oriented schemes of UPA  government  to the public and tell that successive governments in UP could not implement them, would also help the party in the elections.

Senior party leaders are also busy in giving final shape to series of rallies to be addressed by AICC president Sonia Ganhi, Rahul and other senior leaders all over the state in next few months. At a time when the SP government is fast losing its credibility among muslims due to large number of incidents of communal violence since March 2012 and government apathy towards muslim youths held in various jails on the charges of alleged involvement in terror incidents, Congress can play important role wooing minorities back. Congress is using senior leaders like Union Minister Salman Khurseed and CWC member Rasheed Masood and veteran leader Mohsina kidwai to take up muslim related issues and interact with members of minorities in the state. Although Rahul Gandhi has always been opposed to any alliance with other political parties in UP but some sort of understanding with  smaller parties like Peace Party, which had made inroads in muslims,can not be ruled out. There is a perception in UP that if BJP decides to project Modi, who is face of hindutva forces, as PM candidate then it would help consolidation of minorities votes for Congress.

Although Rahul Gandhi is devoting his time in looking after party’s affairs in entire country but his constituency Amethi and that of his mother Rae Bareli are being looked after by his sister Priyanka Gandhi who has been camping in these two districts. There is a consistent demand in UP that Priyanka Gandhi should not only contest from UP but also campaign in other constituencies as she alone could boost the prospects of party in Lok Sabha polls. IPA
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