Other States

Congress will fight U.P. polls unitedly, says Rahul

Congress general secretary and MP Rahul Gandhi along with UPCC president Rita Bhaguna Joshi during a meeting in Lucknow on Saturday. Photo: Subir Roy

Congress general secretary and MP Rahul Gandhi along with UPCC president Rita Bhaguna Joshi during a meeting in Lucknow on Saturday. Photo: Subir Roy  

Says action will be taken against those who try to sabotage party's interest

On a mission to rejuvenate the Congress Party's fortunes in Uttar Pradesh to make it fighting fit for next year's Assembly elections, Rahul Gandhi began his two-day interactive session here by stating that for the first time in 20 years the party would fight the impending polls “unitedly.”

The stress obviously was on a united effort keeping in mind the infighting and bickering that have dogged the party over ticket distribution.

“If you understand that the Congress can form the government in the State then the next government will that of the Congress,” Mr. Gandhi said, even as he exhorted the candidates and party men to shun a negative and diffident approach.

Stating that the Congress will have a say in the formation in the next government in U.P., the Amethi MP categorically told the party candidates that “whether the Congress formed the government or not depends on you.” Senior generals and commanders of the party and he himself “would be there to assist you.”

Even as Mr. Gandhi tried to boost the confidence of his party members, he talked tough on the dissenters. In a reference to the infighting, Mr. Gandhi said action would be taken against those who sabotaged the party's interests in the polls.

Addressing a meeting of the district unit chiefs, Union Ministers, MLAs, office bearers of the State unit at the U.P. Congress headquarters on Saturday, he said from 1991 to 2009 the Congress was nowhere in the contest in Uttar Pradesh. The first step was taken in 2009 (with the Lok Sabha election), and now for the “first time the Congress will contest the polls [in 2012].” Blaming the non-Congress governments, ruling the State for the last 22 years, for U.P.'s backwardness, Mr. Gandhi said the people were tired.

He said during his visits people kept telling him that they did not want Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party (governments), while there were no takers for the Bharatiya Janata Party. “People want a Congress government.”

He laid stress on the formation of booth level committees.

Mr. Gandhi said there was no dearth of poll issues. Corruption had broken all records under the Mulayam Singh and Mayawati governments, crime against women had increased. These issues should be raised, he emphasized. Asking whether the State government was not responsible for price rise, Mr. Gandhi said “when FDI in retail was brought in to arrest the price rise, the BSP and BJP joined hands to oppose it”.

Mr. Gandhi said reservation proposal for the backward Muslims would be implemented.

The AICC general secretary in-charge of UP, Digvijay Singh, sought to assuage the feelings of the Congress workers and leaders who had been denied tickets. Holding himself accountable for the distribution of tickets, Mr. Singh said their anger may be justified and they should vent their ire on him, but in no way the prospects of the candidates should be harmed. “The candidates have been selected by Sonia Gandhi and the AICC and the tickets are final,” the former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister said.

During his one-to-one dialogue with the 213 Congress candidates — list was declared earlier in the day — Mr. Gandhi emphasised on adopting a positive and aggressive approach. He told them to go all out to secure victory for the party.

Addressing a press conference after the conclusion of the opening day's session, Mr. Singh said a meeting of the National Students Union of India (NSUI) and Youth Congress would be held on Sunday (to be addressed by Mr. Gandhi ). It would be followed by a meeting of the Congress frontal organisations. He said following Saturday's interactive session U.P. had been divided into 10 zones, under zonal officers appointed by the AICC.

He said the next list of the candidates would be announced by the end of this month.

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Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 2:59:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/congress-will-fight-up-polls-unitedly-says-rahul/article2704680.ece

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