Cong to go alone in UP by-polls

Party aims to strengthen itself from grassroots

In an effort to revive itself in Uttar Pradesh, the Congress, which won only two seats in the state in the recent Lok Sabha polls, has decided to go alone in the by-polls to be held for 12 Assembly constituencies.

The All India Congress Committee (AICC) secretary and other senior leaders will visit different parts of the state and meet leaders from district, block and ward committees to strengthen the party at the grass-root level.

“We will not have alliance with any party and will contest all the seats in the by-polls,” a senior leader told Deccan Herald on Wednesday.

“The objective is to make our presence felt in all the seats,” he added. The Congress had an electoral alliance with the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) in the Lok Sabha elections.

UP will soon witness another trial of strength as the by-polls will be held to 12 Assembly seats, which had become vacant after 12 members of the House were elected to Lok Sabha.

Of the 12 seats, 11 were held by the BJP, which swept the state in the Lok Sabha polls by winning 71 of the 80 seats while one belongs to its alliance partner Apna Dal.

The by-polls will be held to Kairana, Lucknow (East), Saharanpur, Rohania, Sirathu,
Balaha, Bijnore, Moida, Thakurdwara, Charkhari, Nighasan and Hamirpur constituencies.

The leader said the senior leaders from the Centre and state will meet party workers from ward, block and district levels during their visits to the districts.

“The leaders will hold discussion to chalk out strategy to revive the party at the grass root level,” he added.

The leader said Assembly polls would be held in UP in 2017, which was not very far.
“We will be focusing on devising long-term strategy to build the organisation afresh in the state,” he remarked.

The Congress high command had recently dissolved all its state-level committees but allowed the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee president Nirmal Khatri to continue. The party could win only Raebareli and Amethi seats in the Lok Sabha polls.

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