AICC general secretary Madhusudan Mistry said he would recommend party high command to “dissolve” the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) as it requires “change”.
The new UPCC committee and district committees were formed right before the Lok Sabha elections and after deliberations of more than a year. “The committees were formed but their effectiveness could not be ensured,” said Mistry.
Mistry, who reached Lucknow Thursday, held one-to-one meetings with around 20 candidates from central and eastern UP to review the party’s poor show in the Lok Sabha elections.
While Mistry took responsibility for the debacle, he maintained he hardly had about 10 months to work in such a big state.
“I take full responsibility for the Congress’s defeat in UP though I had many responsibilities, I was also contesting from Vadodara, and I only had 10 months time to work in UP,” Mistry told reporters in Lucknow.
Sources said there were demands for Priyanka Gandhi to be more active, at least in UP politics, to which Mistry replied that “no such proposal has come to me”.
On the question of contesting from Vadodara which Prime Minister Narendra Modi has left for Varanasi, Mistry said he has no plan to contest any other Lok Sabha election anytime soon as he is already a Rajya Sabha MP.
“I knew I was not winning but I did not want him (Modi) to make a national record. I would not contest a by-election. But as he has retained Varanasi, let us see what (development) he delivers there,” said Mistry.
During the the post-poll review, many candidates blamed the last-minute “anti-Modi” speech by Saharanpur candidate Imran Masood, which, according to them, “helped BJP in further polarising the election”.
Other reasons cited for the party’s dismal show in UP were “lacunae in the functioning of the organisation”, “grass-oots level polarisation” and “delay in declaring the names of candidates”.
Sources said Varanasi candidate Ajai Rai, who contested against Modi in Varanasi and polled only around 75,000 votes, was also cornered over his defeat. “How could you even lose your deposit. How did you contest?” he was reportedly asked.
On Friday, Mistry would hold a review meeting in Delhi with former MPs from UP and those who stood second in 2009 and this Lok Sabha election. On June 3, the review of western UP and Bundelkhand would take place.