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Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Cong first list by Oct 10; Priyanka seeks more aggression in campaign

According to sources, after the initial round of meetings, which was aimed at firming up an action plan for the coming days, it was decided that the party would come out with its first list of candidates by the second week of October.

Written by Maulshree Seth | Lucknow |
October 1, 2021 4:46:26 am
AICC general secretary in charge of UP, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who is currently camping in Lucknow, chaired the meeting of the state advisory committee which has several veteran leaders as members. (File)

Amid talk of some more prominent leaders ditching the Congress in the next few days, the party moved into gear for next year’s Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls with meetings of not just its screening and state election committees but also the state advisory committee in Lucknow on Thursday.

According to sources, after the initial round of meetings, which was aimed at firming up an action plan for the coming days, it was decided that the party would come out with its first list of candidates by the second week of October.

The list, say sources, would feature “strong” candidates, those who stood second in the last Assembly election as well as new faces who the party reckons have a strong chance of putting up a good fight.

Top party leaders, including Deepender Singh Hooda, Jitendra Singh, state president Ajay Kumar Lallu, state Legislature Party leader Aradhna Mishra along with other state leaders, who are all part of these committees, attended these meetings that stretched well into the evening.

A senior party leader informed that after screening, the party would finalise a list of about 100 candidates, which would be put out early next month. “The party would finalise its first list of the candidates before October 10, which is when the party is likely to kick off its election campaign. During the meetings, it was also decided that apart from launching its campaign from Varanasi (the Lok Sabha constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi), the party would also hold a mega rally in Lucknow next month, most likely on October 19,” a party leader said.

AICC general secretary in charge of UP, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who is currently camping in Lucknow, chaired the meeting of the state advisory committee which has several veteran leaders as members.

Sources privy to the meeting said Priyanka told party leaders that they would have to be “aggressive” in their campaign. At a meeting with the party’s social media team for all 75 districts of the state, she gave the same advice, asking it not to be afraid or hesitant when it comes to countering the “lies” of the government.

It was at this meeting that the upcoming scheduled programmes of the party, including rallies, to be held next month, were discussed. “She told us to be aggressive on three fronts ¬ to expose the lies of the BJP, to counter the government propaganda and machinery and finally, to counter the caste-based approach of other parties in the state,” a party leader, who was part of the social media meeting in Lucknow, said.

He added that she repeatedly told them to be aggressive in their counter attacks and “not to be afraid”.

Meanwhile, terming Rs 25 hike per quintal in sugarcane price as insufficient”, Congress Rajya Sabha MP Deepender Singh Hooda demanded from the government to rise it to minimum Rs 400 per quintal.

“The state government has announced hike of Rs 25 per quintal in cane price after which its price is Rs 350 per quintal. It should be raised to minimum Rs 400 per quintal,” Hooda, who is also a Congress Working Committee (CWC) member, told reporters here.

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