WITH THE Congress set to launch its campaign for urban local body polls from November 15, the party’s biggest task seems to be keeping its house in order. In the last 10 days, the party has replaced at least 10 district and city presidents for alleged non-cooperation and distributing tickets to their near and dear ones.
Sources in the party said that none of the new appointments are permanent and the new incharges are only officiating heads. It all started earlier this month, when some leaders at Hardoi created a ruckus at the state headquarters, alleging that candidates selected were not even discussed at the district level meeting.
Following this, Hardoi district president was removed, and Ashish Kumar Singh made the officiating president.
While Ashok Chakleshwar Singh has been made the city president of Mathura, Manish Ojha is the officiating president of Balrampur district, Jawed Sabri, the Saharanpur city president and Jagdish Kushwaha, the charge of Shahjahanpur city. Bimresh Singh has been named the district president of Ballia and Tariq Qureshi, the district president of Muzaffarnagar.
In the latest reshuffle on Sunday, Jamaluddin Qureshi was made the Agra city president, Nidhi Garg, the Firozabad district president and Sadiq Beg, the Firozabad city president. “Mostly, local leaders and workers had complained to the state president (Raj Babbar)… The decision to replace the district and city unit heads was taken by him,” said a leader.
When contacted, party spokesperson Virendra Madan said: “Either most of these leaders or their family members are contesting… Thus, there was a chance that their attention would get diverted and they would concentrate on a particular seat… This is why the party decided to replace them.”
On Congress’ campaign launch on Wednesday, he said: “Soon, the campaign schedule of leaders from other states as well as Uttar Pradesh will be finalised. On November 14, senior leaders will visit Rae Bareli to mark the birth centenary year of Indira Gandhi. The next day, we plan to officially launch our campaign.”