Having gained an edge over the BJP in the recent bypolls in four states, the Congress has now deployed all its former Union ministers and MPs from the state and have made them in-charge and co-ordinators for the 11 Assembly seats going to bypolls on September 13.
These leaders have been asked to camp in respective constituencies allotted to them till the elections are over. Two to three MLAs have been made co-ordinators to assist these each of the senior leaders.
The heavy-weight leaders who have been made in-charge of the assembly constituencies include former Union ministers Beni Prasad Verma, Salman Khurshid, Jitin Prasad, R P N Singh, Sriprakash Jaiswal as well as former MP PL Punia, and recently made national secretaries Rajaram Pal and Sanjay Kapoor, CLP leader Pradeep Mathur, Rajya Sabha MPs Sanjay Sinh and Pramod Tiwari.
The co-ordinators include Ajay Rai, who had contested the Lok Sabha election against Narendra Modi. Rai has been made co-ordinator for Rohaniya Assembly seat in Varanasi under former MP Rajaram Pal.
Pramod Tiwari, who was elected Rajya Sabha MP with support of Samajwadi Party, has been made in-charge of Hamirpur Assembly seat in Bundelkhand, while Sanjay Sinh, the Rajya Sabha MP from Assam, has been given responsibility of the Lucknow-East seat.
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It is after a long time that Sinh has been given a significant responsibility in the party in Uttar Pradesh. Sources in the party said that Sinh has been brought to counter BJP MP and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in Lucknow targeting Thakur votes.
Sinh along with Madhusudan Mistry and other senior leaders held meeting of the party cadre to oversee preparations in Lucknow on Wednesday.
Sources in the party inform that each of these leaders have been given seats, which are far from their comfort zones. For instance, former Union minister R P N Singh, who has been contesting from Kushinagar in east UP, has been given responsibility of Bijnore in the west. Former Union steel minister Beni Prasad Verma, who hails from Barabanki and had contested election from Gonda, is in-charge of Sirathu Assembly seat in Kaushambi.
Similarly, Salman Khurshid has been given responsibility of NOIDA, while Jitin Prasad is in-charge of Thakurdwara in west UP. Another former Union minister, Sriprakash Jaiswal, has been given Charkhari, whereas chairman of National SC commission P L Punia is incharge of Balha Assembly.
Saharanpur has been given to CLP leader Pradeep Mathur. Recently appointed national secretary Sanjay Kapoor is in-charge of Nighasan.
The heavy weight list of the 11 in-charge and 32 co-ordinators also include former Union minister Pradeep Jain Aditya as co-ordinator for Charkhari and recently elected Congress MLA from Pratapgarh Aradhana Mishra, daughter of Congress Rajya Sabha MP Pramod Tiwari, as co-ordinator of Lucknow East seat.