Congress, the fourth-largest party in Uttar Pradesh, has started chalking out its strategy and formation of important teams for the 2022 Assembly poll. The party has decided to go it alone, not going with any big political outfit such as Samajwadi and Bahujan Samaj Party, senior leaders said.
Congress’ first such pre-poll alliance with the SP had turned out to be a disaster in 2017 Assembly poll, for both the parties. "The leadership wants to prepare the candidates’ list as early as possible so they get enough time to work in their constituency. In the previous polls, many candidates lost as their names were announced at the last minute. This time, the plan is to release the list an year in advance," said a senior leader.
New teams sans ‘letter’ writers To rehaul the team, the party’s interim president Sonia Gandhi appointed two vice presidents-Kanpur MLA Sohail Akhtar Ansari and former youth Congress leader Yogesh Dixit on Monday.
The party already announced the formation of seven poll panels — a manifesto committee, training committee, membership committee, outreach committee and programme implementation.
Senior Congress leaders like Salman Khurshid, Pramod Tiwari, and PL Punia have been named in these committees. However, former Union minister Jitin Prasada and former UP Congress chief Raj Babbar’s names are conspicuous by their absence.
Lallu to lead team: Priyanka has picked up two-time MLA Ajay Kumar Lallu as the UP president soon after the 2019 debacle when even Rahul lost his traditional seat of Amethi.
Dissent a concern: UP Congress is known for dissenters and infights. A bunch of seniors were expelled last year over indiscipline but the dissent continued due to over ambitiousness of some leaders. There had been rumours in the past Prasada might join BJP. MLA Aditi Singh has already drifted towards BJP.
"The biggest challenge is to adjust everyone in some committee or the other to curb dissent. Miscalculations may cost dearly to the party as it has to work really hard to make some impact in the next one and half years. Prasada, being a Brahmin, is very important for the party. He would be given some important charge soon."
Bano in Priyanka’s Advisory Council
NEW DELHI: Begum Noor Bano, a 2-term MP from her erstwhile Rampur princely state from UP, who is active even at 80, has been taken by UP incharge AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (48) as one of the four additional members in her advisory board. 3 others in her advisory board are: Rakesh Sachan (55), Harendra Malik (66) and Acharya Pramod Krisham (56). —Our Bureau