Cong Announces Panels for UP Polls, ‘Dissident’ Leaders Left Out

While Salman Khurshid will head the manifesto committee, Pramod Tiwari will head the outreach committee.

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Politics
2 min read
Image of Priyanka Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi used for representational purposes. 
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Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who is now in-charge of the Congress party in eastern Uttar Pradesh, has started forming teams two years ahead of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, reported NDTV. Senior leader Salman Khurshid, who had been upset with the letter written by 23 Congress leaders seeking an overhaul of the party, will reportedly preside over a team that will be responsible for drawing up the manifesto for the elections.

Incidentally, Congress leaders, such as Jitin Prasad and Raj Babbar, who had signed a “dissident” letter to party president Sonia Gandhi, did not find a mention in the new committees. Leaders like Nirmal Khatree and Naseeb Pathan, who rejected the letter, however, according to NDTV, have been allotted places in the committees.

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who was pronounced in charge of UP, months ahead of the Lok Sabha elections in 2019, wants the party to “put its best foot forward in 2022,” reported The Indian Express, citing Congress leaders.

THE SEVEN PANELS

The Congress has announced seven panel so far. These include panels for drafting the manifesto, covering outreach, membership, programme implementation, training and cadre development, panchayat polls, and media and communication.

While Khurshid will head the manifesto committee, Pramod Tiwari will head the outreach committee.

Further, Anugrah Narayan Singh will head the membership committee and Rashid Alvi, in his “political comeback,” according to The Indian Express, will head the media panel.

OTHER APPOINTMENTS

Gaurav Gogoi and Ravneet Singh Bittu were appointed deputy leader and whip in the Lok Sabha, the NDTV report added.

Further, former Union minister Jairam Ramesh, who, too, was not among the dissenters, was appointed as the party’s chief whip in the Rajya Sabha.

WHO WAS LEFT OUT?

Senior leaders like Ghulam Nabi Azad, Kapil Sibal, Shashi Tharoor and Anand Sharma, who had sought an “overhaul,” were not granted any of the big positions.

BACKGROUND

The rumblings in the Congress started when 23 Congress leaders, including former Union ministers and chief ministers, wrote to Sonia Gandhi, raising critical questions about the party and demanding sweeping changes.

The signatories of the letter had said that they have full faith in her leadership, and that of Rahul Gandhi’s, and that their concerns were for the betterment of the organisation, news agency ANI had reported.

At the end of the CWC meeting, Sonia Gandhi had struck a tone of reconciliation, reportedly saying, “We are a large family, we have differences on many occasions, but in the end, we come together as one. The need of the hour is to fight for the cause of the people and (against) forces that are failing this country.”

(With inputs from NDTV, The Indian Express, and ANI.)

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