On Day Three of his tour on Thursday,Congress general secretary Madhusudan Mistry held meetings with partymen from Bahraich,Shravasti,Gonda,Sidharthanagar,Basti and Barabanki districts,where leaders urged him not to repeat the mistake of 2012.
The leaders complained that over 75 per cent of outsiders brought from other parties to contest the 2012 Assembly elections in the name of winnability had either become inactive or left the Congress. They requested Mistry that such a mistake should not be repeated if the Congress is serious about strengthening itself at the grassroot level.
Such party-hoppers neither care about the Congress nor have any interest in strengthening it. They came here because they did not get tickets in their own parties,and have left or are waiting to leave as soon as they get a call from other parties. If the Congress is serious about making its grassroot strong,then such mistakes should not be repeated. We have clearly said this to our general secretary in charge without any hesitation, said a leader from Sidharthanagar. A senior party leader said the same issue was raised in other districts in the region as well.
Leaders from Sidharthangar were more aggressive in raising the issue because Mohd Muqeem,who joined the party just before the 2012 Assembly elections and was given a Congress ticket from Itwa seat in Sidharthanagar,left the Congress on July 8 to join the Bahujan Samaj Party. He is likely to contest the 2014 Lok Sabha elections against Congress MP Jagdambika Pal.
Muqeem had contested the 2009 Lok Sabha elections on a BSP ticket against Pal from Dumariyaganj also but had lost by over 78,000 votes. Congress leaders told Mistry that he left the party because the BSP had again promised him a ticket against Pal on the same seat in the upcoming elections.
His candidature is likely to be announced on July 15 by the BSP. We are making a mockery of the party. We were asked to seek votes for him in the Assembly election and now he will be contesting against our own MP. How are we expected to face the people? said a party leader.
This is the same region where Union minister Beni Prasad Verma had played a significant role in selection of candidates during the 2012 Assembly election.
According to sources,in order to avoid any direct complaint against the leader,partymen were told before each meeting that there should not be any personal attack on anyone during the meeting.
We were told that if there are any significant issues against any particular leader to be brought before the general secretary,then we can give it in writing to him,but the meeting should be strictly about how to strengthen the party, said a party worker from Barabanki.
Mistry left for Gorakhpur in the evening,where he will hold another round of meetings with the district leaders and inaugurate the zonal office.