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Will Salman poll team work?

UTTAR Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) president Salman Khurshid may have worked hard to accommodate various party factions on the list of office-bearers released today, but he needs to work harder to make his jumbo-sized election team work in cohesion as the State inches closer to the polls.

india Updated: Aug 30, 2006 01:06 IST

UTTAR Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) president Salman Khurshid may have worked hard to accommodate various party factions on the list of office-bearers released today, but he needs to work harder to make his jumbo-sized election team work in cohesion as the State inches closer to the polls.

A close scrutiny of the UPCC list of nearly 250 office-bearers and executive committee members and invitees indicates that the Congress is making yet another attempt to bring the Brahmin, the Muslim, the Dalit and the backward class vote banks back to its fold. This effort goes on even as the party tries to fight off growing factionalism.

If senior Congress leaders were to be believed, the UPCC revamping had been a time consuming exercise. It was not a very impressive move, they said adding Khurshid’s revamp of DCC was more successful.

They said, this time Khurshid not only obliged his own men with coveted posts of vice-presidents and general secretaries but even nominees of his detractors or rivals were accommodated. Khurshid appeared to have relied more on his close confidants and lightweights for top positions to make his functioning smoother, said a senior party functionary.

Out of the 22 vice-presidents at least half a dozen have found their place owing to their affinity to Khurshid. A dozen others have been picked for regional considerations. Others on the list include nominees of Khurshid’s detractors, who apparently have made a truce with him.

New vice-president Siraj Mehandi is considered close to former UPCC president Jagdambika Pal. Mehandi’s tenure as MLC ended on May 5 last and he had failed to get re-nominated. Another nominee of Pal, Hanuman Tripathi has been inducted as general secretary.

Union Minister of State for Home Sriprakash Jaiswal may not have any complaints with the revamping. His other ministerial colleagues may, however, find it difficult to spot their men on the list.

Barring one or two office-bearers, Mahavir Prasad’s nominees don’t figure on the list, said another party functionary.

Talking to HT, Khurshid said a lot of new and young faces had been accommodated on the UPCC list. Khurshid countered the view that many lightweights had been accommodated. He said many of the secretaries had been given a post for the first time. Only those who working hard had found a place, he said adding that he could not accommodate senior leaders to limit the number.

Many of the senior partymen had been accommodated on the list of executive committee members, he said.