From booth number to winning candidates, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra tests Congress party workers’ knowledge
As a number of UP Congress leaders complained about the present office bearers in districts and cities, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra asked them to forget their differences and work unitedly for Lok Sabha polls.Updated: Feb 13, 2019 12:04 IST
A day after holding a roadshow, Congress general secretary (east UP) Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and her west UP counterpart Jyotiraditya Scindia began holding separate closed-door meetings with party workers in Lucknow.
During the meetings, the two leaders often tested the cadre’s knowledge about the party organisation and the political situation in their respective Lok Sabha constituencies. The meetings stretched till early on Wednesday morning.
Some of the questions that Priyanka put to party leaders, who appeared unprepared, included: “What is your booth number? How many villages do you have in your constituency? Have you been a Congress candidate in the past? Who won the seat? How many votes did other candidates get and how many votes did you get?” Priyanka will meet party workers from 41 Lok Sabha seats and Scindia will interact with the cadre from 39 seats. The duo will continue their interaction till Thursday.
Scindia also enquired about the party’s position in the constituencies and the winnability of aspiring candidates etc. As the meetings with select groups of party workers progressed, a number of others assembled outside the UPCC headquarters urged the party leaders to allow their entry inside. They raised their voice and claimed they were not being allowed to meet the two leaders. The situation arose as Seva Dal volunteers allowed entry only to party workers, whose names figured on the list sent by their respective party units. As a result, many others had arguments and indulged in slogan-shouting to force their entry.Some party workers raised slogans at the entrance to demand that they be allowed to meet the top leaders.
“I am the city Congress unit president of Fatehpur. Our names do not figure on the list,” said a party leader, who was seen arguing with the Seva Dal volunteers there. Pradeep Singh, a young party leader, was also seen arguing with the Seva Dal volunteers. Amid the slogan-shouting, UPCC president Raj Babbar sought to pacify them and told them to wait for their turn. He assured them they too would be allowed to meet the party leaders.
“I will get more chairs for you. Please wait there,” said Babbar while pointing towards the open ground. Mahadin Rawat, a block president from Lucknow, was overwhelmed to meet Priyanka and was seen in tears.
“I have not been able to meet any UPCC president up to now. This is the first time that a national level leader has called us to a meeting,” he said at the meeting. “I told her only the truth,” said Mahadin on phone later.
As a number of leaders complained about the present office bearers in districts and cities, Priyanka asked them to forget their differences and work unitedly for Lok Sabha polls.
“This is not the time to raise such issues. Take me as your younger or elder sister. I will give you a candidate. Will you ensure the victory of party candidate?” Priyanka asked and all the partymen promised to work hard for the party. Scindia too asked about the issues in the respective Lok Sabha constituencies.
After meeting Scindia, Saharanpur District Congress Committee (DCC) president Shashi Walia said, “Scindiaji has appointed a senior party leader from Madhya Pradesh Rajendra Singh as the incharge for our seat. We have convened a meeting of the party organisation on Wednesday to begin our work.”
UP Congress secretary Afzal Quereshi said, “We briefed him about local issues in Bijnor and he appointed a senior party leader Damodarji Roy as the incharge of Bijnor seat.”
First Published: Feb 13, 2019 10:06 IST