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Sonia?s ?jail bharo? call an acid test for UPCC

CONGRESS PRESIDENT Sonia Gandhi?s ?jail bharo? call poses a greater challenge to the U P Congress Committee (UPCC) than to Mulayam Singh Yadav government.

india Updated: Sep 22, 2006 01:43 IST

CONGRESS PRESIDENT Sonia Gandhi’s ‘jail bharo’ call poses a greater challenge to the U P Congress Committee (UPCC) than to Mulayam Singh Yadav government.

This is for the first time in recent years that the Congress leadership has given a direct call asking its state unit to launch an agitation against the Samajwadi Party-led coalition that the party supports from outside.

However, the question is how and when the UPCC will take Sonia’s message to the grass-root-level. The party is very happy following success of Sonia’s Bareilly show.

As there are contradictions within the State Congress vis-à-vis their relations with Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav, any major move against his government has not yielded desired results so far.

There is a growing feeling that the ‘Jail Bharo’ may instill a sense of much-needed confidence in party cadres for the upcoming assembly polls.

So the challenge becomes greater for UPCC chief Salman Khurshid who has to work hard to make the programme success.  Any failure may prove costly for Khurshid and for his team.

Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Pramod Tiwari, too, has to take the call cautiously.

If the leaders failed to wake up, the ‘Jail Bharo’ call may end in whimper as happened to do or die slogan that Sonia gave at Kanpur’s Nav Nirman rally on August 8.

Now, the Congressmen may have to take up the do or die slogan for the success of the Jail Bharo programme, say senior party leaders.

Significantly, this will also be the first major programme for the jumbo-sized UPCC that had been constituted recently. A meeting of the UPCC office- bearers would be held on September 26 to work out a  strategy for the ‘jail bharo’ agitation, a UPCC member said.

However, if the present state of affairs in the party gives any indication, Khurshid will have a tough task.

Khurshid would have to end factionalism and seek cooperation of all the party factions to make Sonia’s call a success, said another party functionary.

He said the festive season and the State Government’s decision to hold elections to urban local bodies might have a direct impact on the proposed agitation programme.

The Congressmen recall the agitation programmes that the UPCC organised recently to protest against the alleged misrule of Mulayam government.