LUCKNOW: Though Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has embarked upon a path to revive the grand old party through operation kayakalp in Uttar Pradesh, she faces challenges galore. Voices of dissension have started emerging in the party just a couple of days after the reconstitution of Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) with party MLA from Tamkuhi Raj Assembly constituency, Ajay Kumar Lallu appointed its president.
The common refrain among the party veterans in Uttar Pradesh is the blind eye the high command allegedly turned to them while weaving up the new team.
Notably, the new team, which assumed charge on Friday, comprises Lallu as the UPCC chief, Aradhana Mishra as CLP leader, 12 general secretaries and 24 secretaries for the state.
Besides, an 18-member Advisory Council to the general secretary and eight-member working group on strategy and planning was also set up. State’s new Congress committee is much smaller than the previous one which had 500 members.
The new UPCC, younger and crisper, has been handpicked by Priyanka Gandhi giving preference to leaders who had been working relentlessly at the grassroots level and were prominently seen during her programmes in the recent past.
However, fingers are being raised inside the party over the composition of the new team which has an average age of about 40 years.
While a number of senior leaders are calling it no different from youth Congress, some of those appointed in the new team have refused to be its part for reasons known to them.
Congress leader and party’s former MP Rajesh Mishra on Thursday declined to take up his appointment as a member of the advisory council to Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, saying that he was not in a position to advise the congress general secretary.
Mishra also suggested the Congress leadership to ‘introspect’ the current situation of the party before setting up teams. “It is an internal issue of the party and I shall only tell Rahul Gandhi or Priyanka Gandhi the reason for declining my appointment to her advisory team,” said Mishra when asked why he refused to be the part of the reconstituted Congress Committee.
Mishra said he had no complaints but added that he had only requested party leaders to relieve him from the post of member of the new advisory board headed by Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. “Experience has once again suffered a beating in the party organisation as the senior leaders have been ignored while stitching up the new team,” said a very senior state leader of Congress.
However, some other were sulking as they claimed that the party leadership had preferred turn coats to loyalists in the new team.
While talking to media persons recently, senior Congress leader Siraj Mehandi, who has sent his resignation from the membership of the All India Congress Committee and the UPCC to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, too echoed the same sentiment.
He also raised questions over non-representation of Shia community in the new team. As the new team arrived in state capital to take charge on Friday, a senior leader said: “We are not sure whether we are needed in the party.” Meanwhile, the nameplates of senior leaders, who held the position of secretary etc in Raj Babbar’s team too have been removed to allocate offices to the new team.