In a bid to revitalise its cadre, the Congress is reaching out to its leaders who once were members of its students and other wings but later were “sidelined” from the main party. They are being brought together under the banner of “Jan Andolan Committee”.
S P Goswami (52), who once led the National Students Union of India (NSUI) in the state, has been made in-charge of the committee. He was expelled from the party in 2014 for raising S P Goswami (52), who once led the National Students Union of India (NSUI) in the state, has been made in-charge of the committee. He was expelled from the party in 2014 for raising questions on the party’s functioning after its poor performance in that year’s Lok Sabha elections. He returned to the party fold during the recent Assembly elections. Now, he has been tasked with identifying “sidelined” workers and leaders, who were once active in state politics.
“I had never left the party. As a person, who had been associated with the party since the days of the student politics in Allahabad, I thought that I could be vocal about what was wrong with the system so I said what I felt,” said Goswami, adding: “The new task is not easy as workers and leaders are asking questions but we are trying to convince them. We are making calls and also trying to connect them through use of social media,” Goswami, who is also co-ordinating the ongoing “Haaq Maango” campaign of the party in Uttar Pradesh says that he has already formed a team of about 200 such leaders at the state level and now they are busy forming district level committees.
Among those, who have been engaged include former student presidents and leaders of different Universities in the state like “Sachidanada Tripathi from Varanasi; Abhay Awasthi from Allahabad, Sanjive Singh from Gorakhpur etc”.
Goswami credited the “Haaq Maango” campaign to party vice-president Rahul Gandhi, though the name was given by the state unit.
At the end of the campaign, party would release the list of demands from both farmers and youth, compiled through this campaign and would begin an action plan to achieve them.
In the meantime, Congress state president Raj Babbar has also become active with the responsibility to ensure the success state-wide campaign.
In the last week, Babbar has already covered districts like Aligarh, Gautam Budh Nagar, Agra, Lucknow, Hamirpur in Bundelkhand etc.
“In some cases, even Babbar is personally making calls requesting dedicated workers to remain active in their respective regions. Such exercise is necessary to keep the party alive and workers active, as they had become demoralised and were loosing faith. The idea of such exercise is to keep the workers engaged,” said another senior party leader, adding, “Our request from the party high-command would also be to focus on Gorakhpur Parliamentary seat of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in by-election and try to contest it with support from both SP and BSP.”