The state Congress has started preparations for the September 21 workshop of party vice-president Rahul Gandhi in Mathura, where he will interact with 458 office-bearers for the first time.
The office-bearers, including state committee and district presidents, have reportedly been asked to complete their preparations in the next two weeks. They have been asked to study caste equations in their regions, the party’s actual strength at the panchayat level, probable candidates and issues faced by the people.
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Sources said the main focus of Rahul’s meeting will be to convey to the cadre that Congress will go alone in the 2017 Assembly elections in UP. It is also aimed at preparing office-bearers for the upcoming panchayat polls and on how to offer Congress’ support to candidates at the grassroots level.
The meet comes exactly a month after the state unit had sought direct interaction between Rahul and the cadre for Congress’ revival in the state.
Only office-bearers have been invited to the meeting. While 331 among them are state committee members — president, vice-presidents, general secretaries and secretaries — the remaining 127 are district and city presidents. No one beyond this list have been invited, not even former Union ministers and former MPs from UP, who are special invitees to the state committee.
AICC General Secretary Madhusudan Mistry has been tasked with checking the party’s strength at the panchayat level and prepare district units for the elections. Starting from Bundelkhand, Mistry from next week will visit every district and hold review meetings with the district, block and nyaya panchayat level committees as well as former MLAs and MPs. Sources said he will ask senior leaders to campaign for party-supported candidates in their regions.
While Mistry will hold such meetings in Lalitpur and Jhansi on September 7, he will hold review meets in Mahoba and Hamirpur on September 9 and in Banda and Chitrakoot districts the next day.