Hit by one crisis after another, infighting within the party has demotivated Congress workers.
New Delhi: Three months after the poll drubbing, the Congress in Uttar Pradesh is not able to keep its candidates who fought on the party’s ticket together. The party is hit by one crisis after another while infighting within the party has demotivated Congress workers. Party leaders believe it is because of the high command’s inability to appoint a state unit president at the earliest.
Almost two weeks back, when Priyanka Gandhi Vadra left for Lucknow for a two-day “Chintan Shivir”, all 403 candidates of Congress were invited to attend the event but “not even 60 were there,” a party leader said. The reason a party leader claimed for PG to leave the place was that she knew greater discord has seeped in the party rank and file after an onstage brawl between two leaders took place.
With a growing sense of resentment among the party leaders, many have disenfranchised themselves from party activities. Recently, the party also refused to contest the Lok Sabha bypolls on the Rampur and Azamgarh seats. A Congress leader said, “The party got 2.33% vote share in the recent Assembly election; now they have even less than 1.33% people supporting.”
Party leaders also believe that the state unit president will be declared in some weeks and the party will start a bottom-up revamp of the party’s functioning in the state. Earlier, Acharya Pramod Krishnam’s name was doing rounds for the role, but party leaders seem dissatisfied with him, a source said. Pramod Tiwari was also in talks, but most leaders believe Rajesh Mishra, an ex-MP from Banaras, has a higher chance of becoming the state unit chief.
A political analyst working in Uttar Pradesh said, “The Congress not declaring the president could be a probable reason for discord in the party, but the fact is that they don’t have any big face in the state. In that case, they would want Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to establish herself as the party head in the state.” The session which they had in Rajasthan signals that it could be the Priyanka Gandhi Vadra who could be made the president of the state unit if Rahul Gandhi accepts the national leadership; the local stand in the state also hints that they will project Priyanka Gandhi Vadra keeping in view the long term benefits.
Talking to The Sunday Guardian, Congress UP spokesperson, Akhilesh Pratap Singh said, “Very soon UP Congress will have changes.” About reports of many Congressmen being dissatisfied with the party’s functioning, Singh said it is not like that; when the changes are made all questions will be answered. “Currently, we are in the process of standing nationally, there is no discord and infighting in the Congress. We have hope, people have seen all the parties, they lie, the BJP lies, now people have hopes from the Congress only,” he said.