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IN HIS first meeting with state Congress leaders in Uttar Pradesh, poll strategist Prashant Kishor had instructed them to select at least 20 “dedicated” party workers from each district by March 31. However, with just five days left for the deadline to be over, most district units are finding it hard to identify these workers under the “dedicated” category.
“Congress does not lack dedicated workers… But the problem is (in understanding) what kind of dedicated workers’ name is being asked for. There are many old faces who are dedicated irrespective of the party being in power or not… but they might not be able to do much of leg work if asked,” said a district president. He added that he is still in the process to select a final team and plans to choose a combination of both old and new faces.
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Another district president said: “I have identified workers per assembly seat and would send the list before March 31. But only time can tell whether they would be dedicated to work or not.”
Sources said some districts have even identified up to 40 workers per assembly segment, but are in a fix on whether to label them as dedicated. When asked, Congress state president Nirmal Khatri said: “It would be too early to say anything… There was still time left for the deadline to be over.”
On March 10, during a closed-door meeting, Kishor had asked Congress’s district and city presidents to identify at least 20 dedicated workers in their respective regions. These district heads were also given a 14-page form to fill and submit by March 31. The form had sought their opinion on dominating castes in their respective regions, reasons for the party’s poor and BJP’s better performance during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls as well as shortcomings and strengths of Congress.
Sources said before starting public connect programmes from April, Kishor wants to identify workers who would be completely dedicated to Congress for the next six months and be ready to give first priority to party work. The contact number of these workers would be shared with the senior leaders.
The workers would also be asked to form their own teams in their regions. While some district units feared that these new teams might work as a parallel unit, the apprehension has been put to rest by senior leaders, who had claimed that these teams would operate only under the district units.