Taking a cue from Akhilesh Yadav who dissolved the organisational set-up of the Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh to give it a new look ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections,the Congress is also set to dissolve the UP Congress Committee and reconstitute the party organisation right from the district and block levels. Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi was learnt to have indicated his intent to this effect at a series of meetings with unsuccessful party candidates from the state on Thursday.
The meetings also witnessed demands to declare Rahul as the partys prime ministerial candidate well ahead of the Lok Sabha elections as the candidates said the party had paid the price for not declaring a chief ministerial candidate in UP.
While a section of the party had trained its guns at Rahuls team,which had micro-managed the UP polls,todays meetings brought to the fore other factors responsible for the partys debacle no support from the organisational apparatus at the grassroots level,Seva Dal,Youth Congress and NSUI.
Many said Congress workers at the local level had deserted the party due to the entry of defectors from other parties. With so many complaints about the organisational weakness,Rahul reportedly said,If you all think so,I will dissolve the organisation and reconstitute it.
Union ministers from the state also came under attack for their lack of support base even in their respective castes and communities and for their neglect of party workers. Sources said this prompted Rahul to remark that they could not even take care of their own constituencies…The high-flying people who are in the system have no hold at the grassroots while those who have a hold at the grassroots are not a part of the system. Something has to be done …
Many candidates expressed the view that the declaration of 4.5 per cent minority sub-quota from within the OBC quota gave an opportunity to the Opposition parties to alienate the majority community,especially the OBCs,from the Congress. The announcement to hike the quota to 9 per cent was badly timed,they said,adding that raising controversial issues like the Batla House encounter and the possibility of Governors Rule only made matters worse.
Rahul met these candidates in three batches and asked them to give reasons for their defeat. They had earlier been sent a questionnaire asking how the AICC and the PCC had helped them. Rahul is also set to meet MLAs and MPs from UP on Friday.