A section of Congress leaders has expressed anger at the alliance with the Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party (SP) in the Uttar Pradesh assembly election. The tie-up forced the party change its slogan from ‘27 saal UP behaal’ to ‘UP ko yeh saath pasand hai’ in the assembly election, most of the party’s district and city unit presidents said here on Sunday.
The party leaders voiced these views at a meeting convened to work out the strategy for the urban local bodies’ elections scheduled in June and July this year.
They noted that after consistently targeting the SP for its failures on the law and order and other fronts, the Congress extended its hand of friendship to the SP.
“This did not go down well with partymen and the people alike,” said most of the party’s district and city unit presidents at the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) headquarters here. Congress general secretary (incharge of UP) Ghulam Nabi Azad and the party’s state president Raj Babbar flew in for the meeting from New Delhi where they carried out a similar exercise with district and city party leaders of west UP and sought their opinion about the likely strategy for the civic polls.
This was the first such interaction after the Congress’s drubbing in the UP assembly elections.
The partymen blamed the leaders for not taking the workers into confidence while deciding to ally with the Samajwadi Party (SP). Babbar had probably sensed the mood of partymen in New Delhi itself. So, he began his address by acknowledging what he called ‘haadsa’ (accident) and tendered an apology on behalf of party for the decision to ally with the SP.
Though Babbar asked the partymen to limit their views to likely strategy for the civic elections, almost each party leader used the occasion to lodge a strong protest against the alliance with the SP.
The leaders said they must be informed in advance if the party were to go in for a grand alliance in the 2019 Lok Sabha election.
Babbar once again reminded the partymen to express their opinion on civic polls only as the 2019 Lok Sabha election was too far away. “We had a good meeting, the first after the defeat in the assembly election. We have decided to strengthen the party organisation,” said Azad.