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The new UP Congress — Priyanka Gandhi Vadra holds meetings till 5 am

New UP in-charges for Congress, Jyotiradita Scindia and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, hold night-long meetings, quiz workers on booth-level knowledge & more.

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Lucknow: For nearly 15 hours, in marathon meetings at the two-storey building that serves as the party’s state headquarters, Congress leaders and workers in Uttar Pradesh got a taste of the new style of party functioning.

From being quizzed on their booth-level knowledge to a detailed explanation about their party work, the two newly-appointed UP in-charges — Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Jyotiraditya Scindia — interacted with the party cadre through the night, with the meeting ending at 5 am Wednesday.

While Scindia ended his meetings at 2.30 am, having started them a couple of hours before Priyanka, she only left the Congress office at around 5.30 am Wednesday.

“I am learning a lot about the (party) organisation, its structure and the changes that need to be made. I am getting their (Congress workers) views on how to fight elections,” Priyanka told reporters as she left the meeting.

“It feels very good. They waited so long. I am learning a lot.”


Also read: Priyanka Gandhi Vadra launches political career, but talk is all about Indira


Workers quizzed on booth knowledge, organisation

From queries on booth numbers, to if those present had contested elections, Priyanka had a number of questions for the workers from over 10 constituencies she interacted with on the second day of her Lucknow visit.

Those present in the meeting said that if one had contested elections, Priyanka wanted to know how many votes the candidate and the rival had garnered. Sources said she also asked if the Congress had block offices in different regions and wanted to know their condition.

Other questions included — “Do meetings take place at your blocks?”; “If these meetings are held, do the block in-charges submit a report to you (the district in-charge)?”; “In what form is the report given — oral or written?”; “To whom do you raise concerns from the public?”

Meraz Wali Khan Sameer, former president of the Lucknow Congress Committee, said Priyanka asked those present to introduce themselves and tell her about the work that they had done in the last few years for the party.

“Some people got overwhelmed and said that they never got a chance to speak to the Congress high command like today,” said Sameer. “At this, she told him that she was not the high command but a local party worker like all of us. She did not say much to us but instead asked us about the party’s functioning at the grassroots.”

Another party worker from Mohanlalganj constituency, on the condition of anonymity, said that Priyanka also asked workers about their booth numbers and the party’s MLA and MP candidates from their areas.

“Many party workers were not aware of their own booths and embarrassedly told her so,” he said. “She assured them that she was not taking a test. She told us to work on strengthening the party’s reach.”

A sea-change for a state unit in a rut

While Congress party functionaries in Delhi are known to hold meeting till the wee hours, such a sight had not been witnessed in UP for the longest time, local Congress leaders said.

“Things are going to change now. We never had such an interaction with senior leaders of the party in UP,” Sameer said. “People like us who work for the party on the ground used to feel disconnected from the party high command. After today’s meeting, this notion has died.”

With the Congress’s dismal performance in the last Lok Sabha elections and the 2017 UP assembly polls, where the party won just two MP and seven MLA seats, the two new general secretaries of the AICC in UP seem to have their priorities set — strengthening the party’s base in UP and reaching out to its foot soldiers.

Of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in the state, Scindia is overseeing 39 while Priyanka has taken charge of 41 seats.


Also read: Why just Indira and Priyanka Gandhi, media must psychoanalyse Narendra Modi too


 

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1 COMMENT

  1. Congress by making efforts to strengthen party in U.P. is indirectly strengthening BJP and weakening S.P, BSP,Maha ghadi.

    Bjp should help congress to give some strength so that anti BJP votes get split.

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