NEW DELHI: Desperate to revive the party in Uttar Pradesh, the Congress will start a statewide protest against police brutality on youth wing workers. "Our protest will go on and cover the entire state," UP Congress chief Raj Babbar said a day after 40 party workers including Youth Congress chief Keshav Chand Yadav, his deputy BV Srinivas and Congress Legislative Party leader Ajay Singh Lallu, were injured in Lucknow on Tuesday when they were protesting against the Modi government at the centre.
On Wednesday, Babbar and several state leaders statged a silent protest in front of Mahatma Gandhi's statue in Hazratganj to flag the lathicharge on party workers.
"In Modi's Bharat there is no room for a voice of dissent or freedom of speech," said senior UP Congress leader Jitin Prasada. The drive dubbed as "bharat bachao" is a desperate attempt by the party to recover lost ground in the crucial state ahead of the 2019 national elections for which it is also trying to work out a larger SP-BSP-Congress-RLD alliance. Chipping in, the party's newly recasted social media teams tried to hard to spread the video clips of the police lathicharge on the youth wing workers.
Sources said the numbers in the Lok Sabha and the state assembly explain the status of UP Congress vis a vis the allies and explains why party chief Rahul Gandhi gave his nod for the Youth Congress campaign. The Congress could win just 2 of the 80 Lok Sabha in UP in 2014 national polls and got just seven of the 403 assembly seats in the 2017 assembly polls in which it had a pre-poll alliance with the SP. "A grand alliance against the BJP is needed but we also need to revive the party all over UP," said a senior AICC functionary. However, party insiders said the job was easier said than done but noted that at least some action was happening. "We have to be seen attacking the Modi government on the ground and not only in the media," a party veteran added.