Amid talks of changes in the state leadership, including that of his own, Uttar Pradesh Congress president Nirmal Khatri reached Delhi Monday to meet AICC chief Sonia Gandhi. The meeting comes days after newly-appointed AICC general secretary in-charge for UP, Ghulam Nabi Azad, hinted that “changes do take place”, when asked if UPCC would undergo a change ahead of the polls in the state early next year.
Talking to mediapersons in Delhi, Khatri claimed that it was “merely a courtesy call” as he wanted to “discuss local politics with Sonia Gandhi in view of the 2017 Assembly elections”.
On speculations about any impending change in state leadership, he said that “no one occupies any post for life” and added that the such decisions are taken by the party high command.
Asked if he will have to make way for a new face, Khatri said that he had started hearing rumours about his removal “just three months after he was given charge as UPCC president in 2012”. He added that these talks had become stronger these days, but as of now he is still PCC chief.
On a different note, and toeing the Azad’s line, Khatri said the party should project a chief ministerial candidate in UP and also added that Congress has not been able to make a mark in the state in the absence of a CM face.
In Lucknow, the state Congress Monday released a three-day programme where Khatri will hold deliberations with poll strategist Prashant Kishor on June 22, 23 and 25. While both had held several rounds of meetings with the office bearers of central, eastern and Bundelkhand regions of the party so far, the discussions with districts from western Uttar Pradesh and Lucknow were pending.
A senior party leader informed that as per the schedule that was set earlier, Kishor and Khatri will be meeting office bearers of Bareilly, Agra, Meerut, Aligarh and Lucknow division on these days.