Uttar pradesh

Uttar Pradesh elections | Congress emulates Chhattisgarh training module

Scene at the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee office in Lucknow. File

Scene at the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee office in Lucknow. File

To revive the defunct Congress organisation in Uttar Pradesh ahead of the elections, the party is emulating the successful training module used in Chhattisgarh. Ahead of the upcoming assembly elections, 1.75 lakh workers from 388 assembly constituencies have been trained.

In the 2017 assembly elections, Congress could win only seven seats. It fought the elections in alliance with the Samajwadi Party. Its last credible score in the state was 31 years back in the 1991 elections when it won 46 seats.

The party has failed to arrest the downslide that began in 1993, when from 46 the party was down to 28. The ground-level workers in the majority of the constituencies deserted the party over the years because of its dismal electoral performance leaving it with the unenviable task of rebuilding the organisation ground up.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhuesh Baghel is the senior observer for the State. Senior leaders from the State have been camping in Uttar Pradesh for many months now. A similar training exercise was conducted ahead of the Assam assembly elections last year by the Chhattisgarh leaders. In Uttar Pradesh, as per the Team Chhattisgarh, more extensive training could be conducted because the exercise was started good 2.5 years back, unlike in Assam.

To mobilise the ranks, the party in 2019, the first lot of 150 Congress workers were taken to Raipur to attend the first round of the training. The next round was held in Congress President Sonia Gandhi’s Lok Sabha constituency — Rae Bareilly. The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic put a temporary brake on the training programme but as soon as the conditions eased, the party resumed it.

The party, does not want to hazard any guesses about its performance in the elections. Many leaders whom The Hindu spoke to said that this is not the Congress’s election to win.

“This whole exercise will pay us dividends but we can not right now predict the quantum of our gain,” Vinod Verma, political advisor to Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel.

The training module used in Chattisgarh was altered according to the Uttar Pradesh realities. Typically, a day-long training consists of lectures on the “Congress’s history and achievements”, “the truth about BJP/RSS”, “social media and how to use it, “booth management” and low down on SP and BSP governments performance.

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Printable version | May 20, 2022 10:56:13 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/uttar-pradesh-assembly/uttar-pradesh-elections-congress-emulates-chhattisgarh-training-module/article38323822.ece