Congress banks on OBCs to capture Uttar Pradesh

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Relegated to the sidelines in Uttar Pradesh's politics, Congress, which rejigged its state unit, has reposed faith in the OBCs to capture power in this politically crucial state.

While Ajaik Kumar Singh 'Lallu', an OBC leader from Kushinagar district in the eastern UP, was appointed the state party president replacing Raj Babbar, around half of the new members of the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) also hailed from the same community.

The new PCC has 20 per cent representation each from the general category and SC while there were around 15 per cent Muslims in the Committee.

The state leaders said that an attempt had been made to ensure that all communities were represented in the organisation. ''Caste always plays a crucial role in the electoral politics in the state,'' said a state leader here.

Although the senior leaders were also accommodated in the organisation as advisers, sources in the party said that young and active leaders were preferred over them.

''The new PCC unmistakenly bears the stamp of Priyanka Gandhi...Lallu is her choice,'' remarked a senior UP Congress leader while speaking to DH here.

''It is also clear that Priyanka has not bowed down to the wishes of the senior leaders....in the past the PCC was packed with the leaders recommended by senior leaders,'' he added.

The leader said that Priyanka, by inducting fresh and energetic faces in the 'UP Team' had made it clear that she would prefer those, who were active in the field to the veteran leaders, who were inactive.

The grand old party had fared dismally in the 2017 assembly and also in the recently concluded Lok Sabha polls. It could win only seven seats in the assembly polls and only one seat in the LS polls. Even former Congress president Rahul Gandhi lost in his home turf of Amethi.

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