Congress revamps party's UP unit, but spares Priyanka Gandhi and Jyotiraditya Scindia
“This shake-up has been done to strengthen the party at the district level. It has nothing to do with the responsibilities entrusted to Jyotiraditya Scindia and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, they will continue in their post,” a Congress party source told Asiaville.
The Congress dissolved its district committees in Uttar Pradesh on Monday. The party also decided to set up a three-member panel to look into complaints of gross indiscipline during the just concluded Lok Sabha elections.
The performance of the grand old party was its worst since Independence, despite the fact that the party gave charge of the election campaign to Jyotiraditya Scindia and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra as general secretaries in charge of UP West and UP East respectively.
In western UP, under Scindia, the party couldn’t even win a single seat, whereas, under Vadra, the party could just retain Sonia Gandhi’s Rae Bareli. Party president Rahul Gandhi himself lost the traditional Gandhi bastion Amethi to BJP’s Smriti Irani.
What’s noteworthy as well is that the vote share of the party has fallen to 6.3 per cent from 7.5 per cent in 2014, despite Vadra and Scindia’s aggressive campaign. The party was expected to dent the upper-caste vote bank of the BJP, which apparently, did not happen.
Despite the latest move to dissolve District Congress Committees (DCCs), the party is trying to put up a brave face. “Our party did not perform as we expected and the elections too were not fought on the real issues. Many new faces have joined the party after the elections and we need to give them space. Hence, we have decided to dissolve the district committees”, said a Congress source.
The party has also announced that Ajay Kumar Lallu, the leader of the Congress Legislative Party, has been appointed in-charge for making organisational changes in UP East. No one has been appointed to make similar changes in UP West as yet.
As far as the roles of Jyotiraditya Scindia and Priyanka Gandhi are concerned, the party is not considering any changes. “This shake-up has been done to strengthen the party at the district level. It has nothing to do with the responsibilities entrusted to Scindia and Vadra, they will continue in their post,” a Congress party source told Asiaville.
The decision to dissolve the district committees was taken by the All India Congress Committee (AICC) after the proposals submitted by these general secretaries.
The Congress is now keeping an eye on the assembly by-polls due to be held in a few months. The party has decided to depute a two-member team to oversee election preparations in all the Assembly seats in eastern and western Uttar Pradesh. By-polls are due for 11 Assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh after the respective MLAs were elected to Parliament.
(With inputs from PTI)