Reprimanded by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for their slipshod approach to the 2012 assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, party ministers and MPs have rushed to the state to campaign for the party.
A visibly angry Gandhi pulled up ministers and MPs at the party's campaign committee meeting for UP polls, scheduled to be held in April next year, for their lack of enthusiasm and attention to the ongoing election campaign.
He has apparently told them in no uncertain terms to "focus on bigger issues of corruption, mis-governance and deteriorating law and order situation" in the state rather than "harping" on the foreign direct investment (FDI) in the retail sector.
As a follow up, Gandhi is chairing a crucial meeting of the party's Uttar Pradesh unit on December 10 and 11 in Lucknow where he is expected to give final shape to the party's strategy for the polls.
Not only the state Congress committee functionaries but also district, city and block office bearers and even the women wing officials have been invited to the meeting.
Gandhi will also interact with the 213 party candidates whose names have been declared in three lists so far.
The next stop for Gandhi will be Akbarpur, a constituency once represented by UP CM and BSP supremo Mayawati. It is one of the most backward constituency in eastern UP.
In a bid to woo the most backward classes, Gandhi is scheduled to address a rally at Akbarpur on December 17.
Out of power since 1989, the Congress hopes to regain its lost political ground in UP. The party did make a partial comeback in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls when it won 22 seats.