A meeting of newly elected Congress MLAs failed to choose their leader in the Assembly on Monday. Instead,party president Sonia Gandhi was authorised to name the leader.
The decision was taken at a meeting,held in the presence of AICC observers Sushilkumar Shinde,Moti Lal Vora and Digvijaya Singh,party general secretary in-charge of UP.
Before the resolution was passed,the observers met the MLAs individually and asked for their choice of the next Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader. The observers said their views will be conveyed to Sonia.
Though it was agreed to authorise the party president,not everyone was happy. One of the MLAs said,All other parties have decided their legislature party leaders but the Congress,with just 28 MLAs,cannot. Everyone has to abide by the decision of the high command,but we just do not want any other leader to misuse this authority. Pramod Tiwari was the CLP leader in the last Assembly and most MLAs reportedly want a change. Sources said most MLAs seemed to favour Pradeep Mathur,who was deputy leader under Tiwari,and senior MLA Anugrah Narayan Singh.
The sources said the observers only asked them about their choice of CLP leader,not the state party president,the post which lies vacant since Rita Bahuguna Joshi has already submitted her resignation. Three MLAs who did not attend the meet were Nadeem Javed from Jaunpur,Kazim Ali Khan from Suar Tanda in Rampur and Ajai Rai from Varanasi.