Tewari's removal may mark Cong overhaul

Tewari's removal may mark Cong overhaul

The axing of Pramod Tewari, who has been Congress legislature party leader in the Uttar Pradesh assembly for the past 22 years and a nine-time MLA, from the post of the CLP leader may well be the beginning of the overhauling of the state Congress unit and many more heads may roll in the near future.

Tewari, who was known for his good connections in almost all political parties in the state, paid the price for not being able to make the Congress a force to reckon with in the state, state party leaders said here.

He was never known for his appeal outside his assembly constituency of Rampur Khas, a Brahmin dominated seat in UP’s  Pratapgarh district. “His proximity with leaders cutting across party lines, appears to have done him in,” a state leader said.

Immediately after the drubbing in the recently concluded assembly polls in the state, the party high command had declared it would fix responsibility and show the door to ‘ineffective’ leaders. It had decided to infuse fresh blood into the party’s state unit and give preference to grassroot leaders.

The UP Congress president Rita Bahuguna Joshi, who had resigned owning moral responsibility for the party’s dismal performance but still continues to be on her post, could be next in the line of fire.  

During the visit to his Lok Sabha constituency Amethi, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi had said there would be a “complete overhauling” in the state Congress.

Party workers had complained to Rahul that they had been sidelined during the polls as a result of which the party fared badly in the Nehru-Gandhi pocket borough of Amethi and Raebareli. Local Congress leaders were sore over the preferential treatment given to outsiders like union minister Beni Prasad Verma.

Suggestions had poured in to the central leadership from the state leaders. A majority of them has suggested selection of office bearers on caste basis. “Caste politics is a reality in UP and the Congress must now form its strategy keeping it in view,” a leader said.

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