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Cong’s ‘include all’ experiment to stem factionalism fails to click

Deadlock : Cadres oppose appointment of acting presidents along with presidents,over 70% committees yet to take shape

Written by Maulshree Seth | Lucknow | Published: August 20, 2013 4:20:48 am

The new experiment of Congress to appoint both the presidents and the acting presidents in districts which are facing factionalism in Uttar Pradesh seems to have backfired.

AICC general secretary Madhusudan Mistry had set August 20 deadline for all the newly-appointed presidents and acting presidents in the districts to complete formation of their committees till the block level so that “preparation for Lok Sabha elections can start from September onwards”.

However,following the latest experiment to “include all”,party is finding it difficult to complete the process,which is still pending in over 70 per cent of the district and city committees.

“Formation of block and ward committees is a second step,let us first complete formation of district and city committees. The deadline was set and we are trying hard to cover all the districts but some of the districts are taking time,” said one of the four AICC general secretaries given charge of monitoring the re-organisation in Uttar Pradesh.

Barabanki,Lucknow,Kanpur,Sant Kabir Nagar,Varanasi,Pratapgarh,Sitapur,Lakhimpur Khiri are some of the worst districts in terms of factionalism in the party.

According to sources,on Monday,party workers in Lucknow openly opposed the system of appointing acting presidents in the presence of AICC secretary Zubair Khan and zonal in-charge Mohd Muslim. The meeting was called at IMA Bhavan to give final shape to Lucknow city Congress committee.

In the meeting that continued till late evening,party workers were asked to rather concentrate on Lok Sabha elections. The meeting of the district Congress committee has been called on Tuesday.

On Sunday,senior party leaders had to face factionalism during the meeting that was called for formation of Kanpur Dehat district committee. No decision could be taken. Both,Union minister Sriprakash Jaiswal as well as Congress MP from Akbarpur,Raja Ram Pal,staked their claim over the district.

A senior party leader,who was part of the meeting,said,“Rather than a meeting to decide the committee,it seemed more like a war of one-upmanship between the district president Naresh Katiyar and acting president Deepti Singh.’’

Earlier this month,the meeting called by AICC secretary Prakash Joshi to give a final shape to the committee in Barabanki had faced fight between the supporters of Congress MP PL Punia and Union Minister of Steel Beni Prasad Verma,who hails from the same district. Some of the party workers were injured. A senior party leader informed that the clash began over the simple demand of both the groups that they should be given first chance to present their case before the panel for selection of committee members.

In Pratapgarh,acting president of district Congress committee Narsingh Prakash Mishra has already given a warning that if he is not consulted in the formation of district committee then he will resign from the post. Claiming to be an old and committed party worker,Mishra said,“Committed workers are still not given importance. We are still waiting for the change to become visible”.

A senior party leader said with current pace of work and with growing opposition for the system of appointing acting presidents,it would be difficult to complete the task of forming block and ward committees even by the end of this month.

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