Team Priyanka takes form in UP; veterans in advisory

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. (PTI photo)

The Congress has effected the much-awaited revamp of the party unit in Uttar Pradesh by appointing prominent OBC leader Ajay Kumar Lallu as the president of the state unit.

In an order issued late Monday night, Congress also sought to project a new leadership in the state by appointing four vice presidents and shifting veteran leaders to the 18-member Advisory Council to AICC General Secretary in-charge of Uttar Pradesh, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.

Lallu, a two-term MLA from Tamukhi Raj assembly seat in the state, succeeds Raj Babbar, who had offered to resign, a day after the Congress slumped to its worst ever defeat in the Lok Sabha elections.

The Congress only managed to win Sonia Gandhi’s Rae Bareli seat in the state and the then AICC chief Rahul Gandhi lost his Amethi seat to BJP’s Smriti Irani.

Aradhana Misra, the daughter of senior leader Pramod Tiwari, has been appointed as the leader of the Congress Legislature Party, a post earlier held by Lallu.

Among the four vice presidents, Virender Chaudhary will be in-charge of the eastern parts of Uttar Pradesh, while Pankaj Malik’s remit would be eastern region of the state. Laliteshpati Tripathi will be responsible for the state units of frontal organisations such as the Youth Congress, NSUI, OBC and Kisan Departments and Mahila Congress. Deepak Kumar will be in-charge of Seva Dal, SC, ST and minority departments.

An 18-member advisory council includes veterans such as Salman Khurshid, P L Punia, Pramod Tiwari, R P N Singh is expected to suggest ways to revive the Congress in Uttar Pradesh ahead of the assembly elections in 2022.

The new team, comprising 12 General Secretaries and 24 Secretaries, is seen as an attempt by the Congress to groom fresh leadership in the state where the party has almost been wiped out from the grassroots as Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party grew in the state over the past three decades.

Congress also set up an eight-member Working Group on strategy and planning that has former union ministers Jitin Prasada, Rajiv Shukla and Pradeep Jain ‘Aditya’ as members.

 

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