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Friday, Nov 15, 2019

Congress declares list of UP district chiefs

lucknow Updated: Oct 15, 2019 23:49 IST
Hindustantimes
         

A week after appointing its new state chief, the Congress on Tuesday declared names of presidents for 47 district units and four city units of Uttar Pradesh.

Average age of new office bearers is about 42 years and a number them have come to the main party organization after working in the party’s youth or students wings.

A close scrutiny of the list indicates that the new appointments have a Priyanka Gandhi Vadra stamp. New district chiefs have been given Rae Bareli and Amethi, the two parliamentary constituencies that had been considered Congress stronghold till party president and Amethi MP Rahul Gandhi lost the seat in 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Pradeep Singhal has been appointed Amethi district unit president while Pankaj Tiwari becomes district president of Rae Bareli that Congress president Sonia Gandhi represents in the Lok Sabha.

Ramraj Gond, a tribal of Sonebhadra’s Umbha village where 10 Gond tribals were gunned down three months ago, has been made district president of Sonbhadra. Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had spotted Gond, who had come to meet her, at Chunar fort in Mirzapur, where she was detained on way to Sonbhadra to meet the families of victims.

“Ramraj has been fighting for the cause of tribals and was booked even under Goonda Act for doing so,” said a Congress leader adding, “Ramraj is not new to the Congress and he has been president of Ghorawal unit of tribal dominated Sonbhadra district while his father had been pradhan of Umbha.”

The party has appointed Nirmala Paswan as the district unit president of Gorakhpur, where seat of Gorakhnath temple that has chief minister Yogi Adityanath as the chief priest. Another woman Neelam Nishad has been appointed president of Hamirpur, where the party’s candidate lost deposit in recently concluded by-election.

New district and city chiefs for major districts and towns like Lucknow, Prayagraj, Varanasi and Meerut though are yet to be announced. New team incorporates 10 percent women office bearers and has 14 percent Dalits, 33 percent Other Backward Classes, 35 percent upper caste and 18 percent representation to the minorities who mainly include ‘Pasmanda’ Muslims.

Hitting the reboot button Priyanka had dissolved all the district and city party units on June 24, 2019. Priyanka had sent senior leaders to all the districts and personally interviewed all the nominees before announcements of their names. A senior leader however said the party should have consulted senior leaders about the appointments made in their home districts or else this may lead to infighting in various groups. “We are surprised about some of the appointments made in districts of senior leaders,” said another party leader.

The leader pointed out that an All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary has signed the list to give a message to those whose nominees have not been approved. “UPCC presidents had been so far releasing the list of district office bearers after it is approved by the high command. This time AICC general secretary Venugopal has signed the list and this means that all the office bearers have direct approval of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra,” said the leader.