UP Assembly poll debacle still haunts Congress

UP Assembly poll debacle still haunts Congress

The Congress is yet to come to terms with the assembly poll reverses it suffered in Uttar Pradesh as ambitious leaders are reluctant to go in for a course correction. However, its political rivals Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) have already launched their preparations for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

Immediately after the drubbing in the assembly elections in the state, the Congress high command had declared that it would not only fix responsibility  but also show the door to ineffective leaders. The party also said infuse fresh blood into the UP unit by giving preference to grassroots leaders.

UP Congress president Reeta Bahuguna Joshi had resigned owning moral responsibility for the party’s dismal performance soon after the results were declared but she still continues in her post.

Even Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi had said that there would be a complete overhauling in the state Congress when he visited the Amethi lok sabha constituency last month. The party workers had complained to Rahul that they had been sidelined during the polls as a result of which the party fared very badly on the Nehru-Gandhi pocket borough of Amethi and Raebareli.

Congress leaders feel that old and loyal workers must be rewarded and given preference over those who crossed over from other parties. The leaders are sore over preferential treatment to outsiders like union minister Beni Prasad Verma.
“It was expected, especially after the Antony Committee report, that the central leadership would act against all those who had caused irreparable damage to the party’s electoral prospect in the polls by their irresponsible statements,” said a senior UP leader here.

“Different voices emanating from party leaders and lack of unity among the central ministers from the state remained the biggest stumbling block in the party’s revival in UP,” the leader remarked.

The party has still not been able to decide its leader in the state assembly though its first session is barely eight days away.  “The party continues to be in a state of limbo in UP. It could cost the party dear in the next general election,” said another senior leader.

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