With its state party headquarters in Lucknow wearing a deserted look on most days since the Assembly poll rout, the Congress’ top leadership has asked seven of its MLAs and two MLCs to be present in the premises at least two days a month to meet party workers and also attend to grievances of the public. Congress Legislature Party leader Ajay Kumar ‘Lallu’ has been given the task of finalising the schedule of these party MLAs and MLCs. “With approval from both party vice-president Rahul Gandhi, AICC general secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad as well as state president Raj Babbar, a circular would be issued about the roster of party MLAs defining the days when they would be available for workers and public at the headquarters in Lucknow,” said Lallu.
Barring a few leaders who sit at the state party headquarters, the premise is largely vacant, said sources. State Congress president Raj Babbar visits the office occasionally. Sources added that during some of the recent review meetings, local leaders and workers had complained about a “lack of communication” between the cadre and senior leaders. Lallu said, “There has been a realisation that to revive ourselves in the state, it is necessary to develop a connect with the public for which it is necessary to strengthen our workers, who come to us with problems and issues of public concern of their region.” He added that in incidents like Saharanpur, workers want to communicate many things to the leaders to help the victims, but as of now, they are “directionless”.
It has been decided that the seven MLAs and two MLCs will sit the main party office for two days each month, which would mean that one leader would be available at the party office for at least 18 days a month. However, some leaders expressed doubts regarding implementation of the idea and the actual time that these leaders might be able to devote for the purpose.
Lallu said, “While we have our proper cadre including vice-presidents, general secretaries and secretaries, MLAs have certain powers which give them the upper hand in helping public at large like recommending medical help to the needy from the chief minister’s fund. We are sure that if we start, others would be bound to follow.” He added that most leaders have agreed to the proposal.