Pritam Singh replaces Upadhyay as Uttarakhand Congress chief
Battling to revamp the organisation in Uttarakhand following the humiliating defeat in the assembly polls, the Congress on Thursday appointed Pritam Singh, a senior legislator as the state new party chief.
Singh replaces Kishore Upadhyay, who shared a troubled relationship with former chief minister Harish Rawat.
The son of late Congress leader Gulab Singh, Pritam Singh had been a contender for the state Congress chief in the past too.
Harish Rawat, who lost from both the assembly seats, was also reportedly eying for the state Congress chief’s job.
The party’s drubbing in the assembly polls in March came as a jolt to Congress workers.
A section in the Congress blamed Upadhyay and Rawat for the party’s worst ever performance in the state polls.
Upadhyay even faced protest from angry party workers during his recent visit to Kumaon.
Pritam Singh, a Rajput from Garhwal, is a four-time legislators from Dehradun’s Chakrata assembly seat and is considered to be a seasoned leader.
By appointing him as the party chief, the Congress intends to keep a check on chief minister TS Rawat, who is also from Garhwal and a Rajput.
The outgoing party president welcomed the appointment of Pritam Singh and added it was not an easy task to boost all time low party moral.
“Pritam Singhji been decorated with the crown of thrones. Although as a humble party worker I will support new president in his endeavor to strengthen party” Upadhya told HT.
He however denied the role of organization in party’s poor performance in the elections.
Party workers say it was necessary to infuse new blood in the party.
“We now have a senior and experienced Indiraji as Leader of Opposition and a seasoned leader Pritamji as the president. Workers are sure the party will gain lost ground” said Ganesh Upadhyay, a Congress leader from Kumaon.
The Congress has 11 legislators in the 70-member state assembly. Singh, who was in Chakrata, will take charge on Friday.
Besides Pritam Singh, the Congress has appointed Quazi Nizamuddin, a legislator from Haridwar district as the AICC secretary. Quazi is a young minority face of the Congress from the state.