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Cong leaders on collision course

A PIQUANT situation is unfolding in the State Congress. Senior party leaders appear to be on a confrontationist course over the procedure to be adopted for selection of candidates and distribution of tickets for elections to urban local bodies.

india Updated: Sep 29, 2006 01:13 IST

A PIQUANT situation is unfolding in the State Congress. Senior party leaders appear to be on a confrontationist course over the procedure to be adopted for selection of candidates and distribution of tickets for elections to urban local bodies.

There is no coordination between the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) and the City Congress Committees over selection of candidates and distribution of tickets. While the UPCC convenor for Lucknow Nagar Nigam has decided to hold interviews of prospective candidates on September 30, the City Congress Committee held a meeting on Thursday demanding that Congress’ campaign and the ticket distribution be organised under leadership of Union Minister of State for Steel Dr Akhilesh Das.

If assertions made by Congress’ leaders on Thursday give any indication, the UPCC and its Lucknow city unit have entered into a direct confrontation much before the actual ticket distribution for local bodies’ polls. UPCC local bodies’ cell chairman Fazle Masood said efforts would be made to evolve a consensus at the district level with regard to selection of candidates.

All disputes would be referred to the UPCC, said Masood. No tickets would be distributed without signatures of the UPCC’s incharges or convenor appointed for the respective districts, he said, adding that former UPCC president Arun Kumar Singh Munna was the party’s incharge for Lucknow.

Other resolutions passed at the meeting of the City Congress Committee included the demand that the Congress should take advantage of party president Sonia Gandhi and Congress MP Rahul Gandhi’s popularity. Party leader DP Bora has already tendered his resignation from the primary membership of the party. Bora’s son Neeraj Bora was considered a strong contender for the party ticket for the Lucknow Mayor’s post. Neeraj has reportedly been assured of a ticket by the BSP.

Asked about Bora’s resignation, Masood said his was a decision made in a hurry.

A number of other Congressmen have also sent their letters of resignation to UPCC president Salman Khurshid, alleging that the rich and influential were dominating the show in the party organisation.