In his first press conference after taking over as UP Congress president,Nirmal Khatri today said the Congress would persist with the social engineering,which it had tried unsuccessfully during the Assembly elections,by promoting leaders from OBC,SC/ST and the minority community at ground level in preparation for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Khatri said his first task is to restore the morale of party workers. The results of 2012 Assembly elections has badly affected the morale of Congress workers, he admitted. He said there might be a gap between the party workers and local leaders at ground level,besides state leadership and local leaders.
The party cant ignore the social structure, Khatri said,adding the Congress failed to reap the benefit of its experiment in social engineering in the past due to the absence of local leadership from the SC/ST,OBC and minority communities.
In Assembly elections,the Congress had tried to reach out to the communities which have been in the past regarded as supporters of BSP and SP. It gave tickets to a large number of turncoats from these parties on the recommendation of Union Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma,whom the party projected as its OBC face and who accompanied AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi at his public meetings.
Asked about the existence of various groups within the UPCC,Khatri said he would term it as political race at local level. He also rejected the possibility of emergence of multiple power centres following the partys decision to create eight separate zones in the state.
We all will work like a team. All functionaries of the eight zones would work with their full rights, he said. Khatri said party workers have the freedom to oppose the wrong policies of the SP government in the state.