Kishor to launch Operation UP polls from state Congress HQ next month

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Lucknow
  • Updated: Mar 30, 2016 10:47 IST
Prashant Kishor with Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar while he was working for the Grand Alliance during the Bihar polls last year. (File photo/ PTI)

A six-member team of political strategist Prashant Kishor will launch operations from the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) headquarters in Lucknow next month, a senior party leader has said.

Kishor’s team will be preparing the blueprint of the party’s strategy for the 2017 state assembly elections.

Meanwhile, UPCC president Nirmal Khatri has asked senior leaders to immediately identify 20 dedicated party workers — who will be made to work closely with Kishor’s team during poll campaigning — from each assembly constituency in the state. Though Kishor had sought the data by March 31, only 10 to 12 district Congress committees had complied until Tuesday. The party leadership then asked senior members to get in touch with district units and hasten the identification process.

Read: UP polls may be Prashant Kishor’s toughest test yet

“We hope to get all the names from the districts over the next few days. Although March 31 was the deadline, the process got delayed because of Holi. We hope to complete the task by the coming weekend,” said the leader.

“Besides getting 20 names (of dedicated workers) from each assembly constituency, the party will also procure two names for every assembly seat from every frontal organisation’s unit. This will mean a list of about 150 names from each constituency. Once the lists are finalised, senior party leaders will begin touring the districts along with Prashant to assign tasks to partymen,” said another leader.

Read: Prashant Kishor readies Congress for Kejriwal challenge

The UPCC minority department has also decided to constitute block-level units in the coming month, said the committee’s minority department chairman, Siraj Mehandi, after presiding over a meeting of office bearers at the party headquarters here on Tuesday. He also said that as the All India Congress Committee minority department chairman Khurshid Ahmed Saiyed — who also attended the meeting — wanted the state unit to hold four major conventions in different parts of the state, they have decided to start with an event in Gorakhpur zone in the next two months.

Later, Saiyed told office-bearers that the state’s political environment was turning in the Congress’ favour because the people of the state were getting disenchanted with both the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party. In an oblique reference to All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owaisi, he said that “some leaders in Hyderabadi caps were attacking the Congress without realising how much the party had done for the community”.

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