In an attempt to set its house in order after the drubbing in the Lok Sabha polls where it managed to retain only one of its strongholds in Uttar Pradesh, the Congress Monday dissolved its district committees in the state and set up a three-member panel to look into complaints of “gross indiscipline during the elections”.
A statement released by Congress general secretary, K C Venugopal, on Monday stated that the party will also depute a two-member team to oversee election preparations and management in all assembly seats of eastern and western Uttar Pradesh where bypolls are scheduled. However, once again, the official statement announcing the organisational changes was not issued in Rahul Gandhi’s name.
According to the statement, Ajay Kumar Lallu, the leader of the Congress Legislative Party, has been appointed in-charge to make organisational changes in Eastern Uttar Pradesh “for a defined period”. Lallu is a two-time MLA from Tamkuhi Raj Vidhan Sabha seat in Kushinagar district. He earlier had been associated with Congress student’s wing, NSUI, since 2000.
The statement added that Scindia will announce the name of the person who will be in charge of making organisational changes in UP West. The statement also stated that the above changes were approved by the All India Congress Committee (AICC) following proposals submitted by Priyanka Gandhi and Jyotiraditya Scindia, general secretaries in charge of UP East and UP West respectively.
Bypolls are due in 12 Assembly seats – six in east UP and six in west UP – after MLAs were elected to Parliament in the Lok Sabha polls. Speaking to The Indian Express, Lallu said he has been informed by the party of the new responsibility assigned to him and he will work to spread the party’s ideology to each village in eastern Uttar Pradesh.
On the bypolls, Lallu said the party will soon announce in charge for each Vidhan Sabha seat where bypoll is scheduled in eastern Uttar Pradesh. “We will contest all bypolls and a meeting for east Uttar Pradesh in-charge for each Vidhan Sabha will be held soon to discuss the strategy,” Lallu said.
The announcement by Congress comes on a day when BSP president Mayawati declared her party in the future will contest all elections “small and big” on its own, signalling the end of the BSP-SP alliance forged for the Lok Sabha polls.