Eye on 2014 LS polls, Cong looks for new state chiefs | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Eye on 2014 LS polls, Cong looks for new state chiefs

Congress organisations in key states including Bihar and Uttar Pradesh may be rejigged as part of the party’s overall revamp ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha poll.

delhi Updated: Mar 25, 2012 23:38 IST
Saubhadra Chatterji

Congress organisations in key states including Bihar and Uttar Pradesh may be rejigged as part of the party’s overall revamp ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha poll.

Along with the two crucial Hindi-belt states where the Congress failed to make headway in the assembly elections, Karnataka and West Bengal units of the party may also undergo changes next month.

The party, according to top sources, is looking for “suitable candidates who can play a key role in strengthening the organisation at the grass-root level” before the general elections. Organisational weakness was identified as a key reason for the Congress’ debacle in both Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

The party may opt for a Muslim leader as its UP chief. The incumbent president, Rita Bahuguna Joshi has already resigned, owing responsibility for the recent poll debacle. With Samajwadi Party at the helm of affairs in the state, top Congress strategists think that a Muslim face can counter-challenge the SP’s support base in the community.

“The organisational poll in Bihar is over and the state unit has left it to president Sonia Gandhi to pick the next PCC chief. The party may select a Rajput leader as PCC chief as other experiments have failed,” said a top Congress leader.

The Congress was reduced to just 4 seats in Bihar polls in 2010 and managed to bag only 28 seats in the recent UP polls.

“In Karnataka, the current leadership has failed to deliver results. We might have won the Udupi-Chikmagalur Lok Sabha by-poll, but we lost 17 other by-elections. There is a strong case for projecting a backward caste leader,” said a Congress general secretary. A section of the party, however, feels external affairs minister SM Krishna, a key leader of the Vokkaliga caste that has almost 17 % voters, is the right choice.