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Down to just two Lok Sabha seats out of the total 80 in Uttar Pradesh, the Congress, in efforts to explore the way forward to retrieve the situation and form fresh committees, will camp four AICC secretaries in the state for one month.
The four AICC secretaries —- Naseeb Singh, Rana Goswami, Prakash Joshi and Zubair Khan —- will meet the local leaders, including members of recently dissolved units, and identify the district unit heads who are capable of “building the cadre” and “launching agitations”. Sources said that as the party is still contemplating on the name of a new state president, incumbent Nirmal Khatri has been asked to continue for few months and start tours of districts as well.
The four secretaries would take opinions of the state leaders, but would directly report to the AICC with the list of most suitable names for different posts. Each AICC secretary has been allotted 15-20 districts to cover in the next one month.
In a first step towards reforms, these secretaries have been told that there would no longer be the system of having more than one district president, which was adopted in the formation of the committees before the Lok Sabha election.
“We have been asked to adopt a different route of forming district committees. There would neither be elections, nor would there be direct selection by PCC. We will sit with the workers at the district level and try to find out the best possible names. In the process, we would also try to gauge the reasons behind the poor (LS) results,” said one of the AICC secretaries.
While Naseeb Singh has been given charge of the mainly western UP districts such as Gautam Budh Nagar, Saharanpur, Meerut, Shamli and Muzaffarnagar, Prakash Joshi has been asked to look after the central UP districts including Lakhumpur, Hardoi, Sitapur and Shahjahanpur. Joshi was also the in-charge of the Congress primaries. Eastern UP including Gorakhpur and Varanasi has been given to Rana Goswami, whereas, Bundelkhand and its adjoining districts including SP pocket-borough Mainpuri and Etawah have been given to Zubair Khan.
The Congress had recently dissolved UPCC executive body as well all the district and block level committees. On the recommendation of the state leadership and zonal in-charges, some of the district units were given more than one president with an aim to make every segment happy. After election, it was realised that instead of appeasing the local leaders, the system had further contributed to creating factionalism in the party at the grass-root level.
Source informed that Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi is taking active interest in the working of the party in the state and has directed the leaders to ensure that this time committees are smaller and those selected are active workers.
On the other hand, among the names that are being discussed for the post of state president include former MPs PL Punia from Barabanki, Rajesh Mishra from Varanasi, RPN Singh from Kushinagar and also Raj Babbar.