Other States

Congress launches campaign for the release of its Uttar Pradesh unit president

U.P. Congress chief Ajay Kumar Lallu PTI -

U.P. Congress chief Ajay Kumar Lallu PTI -   | Photo Credit: PTI

The Congress has launched a “seva satyagraha” campaign demanding the release of its Uttar Pradesh unit president Ajay Kumar Lallu who has been lodged in jail since May 21 over the showdown with the State government on transport for migrant workers.

Mr. Lallu is a two-time MLA from Tamkuhi Raj seat in Purvanchal’s Kushinagar district.

The 41-year-old leader was arrested on May 20 in Agra for protesting against the local administration’s refusal to allow buses arranged by the Congress from Rajasthan to ply into U.P. to transport migrant workers home. Though he was granted interim bail by an Agra court, he was soon arrested again by the Lucknow police on charges of allegedly sending a faulty list of buses to the U.P. government and alleged forgery of documents. The FIR was lodged under Sections 182, 420, 467 and 468 of the Indian Penal Code on the complaint of the RTO Lucknow. He was sent to 14 days judicial custody. A special MP-MLA court On June 1 denied him bail. The Congress alleged the BJP government was acting with vendetta.

With the theme of “Seva ki hogi vijay, Hum sab mein Lallu Ajay”, the Congress has launched a campaign to purportedly feed 25 lakh persons in the State. It said it would put up 10 lakh posters across U.P. in support of the MLA. It has also released a number of videos of locals and his family demanding his release.

The Congress has pitched Mr. Lallu as a son of the soil, with the tag “Congress ka siphai, mazdooro ka bhai”. This has a background as Mr. Lallu once himself worked as a construction worker in Gurgaon. Known as a grounded leader, accessible to both party workers and media, his presence as State chief since 2019 Lok Sabha election has instilled agitational politics among party workers under the charge of general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.

The son of a small salt trader, Mr. Lallu started out as a student activist, winning the students union election in the Kisan Degree College. In 2007, he contested the MLA polls as an independent from Seorahi seat but lost his deposit. “Disappointed, he went to Gurgaon where he worked as construction worker but returned to Kushinagar 1.5 years later to pursue politics,” said an aide.

In 2012, he fought from the Tamkuhi Raj seat on Congress ticket and won. In 2017, when the party fared poorly in U.P. despite fighting in an alliance with the SP, he managed to secure his seat and also increased his margin to 17,000 votes.

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra evoked Mahatma Gandhi and said it was from him that the party had learnt one must stand strong and work on the path of truth even when the oppressor prevents you from doing good.

“U.P. Congress president Ajay Lalluji was put in jail for his seva [service],” Ms. Vadra tweeted recently.

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Printable version | Jul 5, 2020 7:21:22 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/congress-launches-campaign-for-the-release-of-its-uttar-pradesh-unit-president/article31787444.ece

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