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Home > News > Report

Salman Khursheed may go as UP Congress chief

May 16, 2007 14:49 IST

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The Battle for Uttar Pradesh

Embarrassed by the drubbing received in the just-concluded Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, the All India Congress Committee has made up its mind to replace Salman Khursheed as the state Congress chief.

If sources in the state Congress are to be believed, the All India Congress Committee in fact is awaiting a resignation letter from the high profile Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee president owning up moral responsibility for the worst ever performance since 1985.

"He has, as it is, completed his two-year term in November. Now, either the AICC will appoint a new UPCC president or Khursheed will step down on his own," claimed a UPCC general secretary.

Khursheed took over as UPCC president in November 2004 and completed his term in November 2006. "Since elections were round the corner then, he continued to lead. But now either he resigns or the AICC removes him," the general secretary claimed.

Congress' failure to convert the popular response of Rahul Gandhi, received during his road shows into votes has brought into focus the party's poor organisational structure at the grassroots level.

"The biggest charge on us is that we failed to convert Rahul's charisma into votes," said the leader.

Rahul Gandhi's road shows were an instant sellout as several people had thronged the venues. The Amethi MP also addressed as many as 158 public meetings during his election tours.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi addressed 23 public meetings and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh addressed five public meetings.

The crowd turnout raised hopes of Congressmen who began expecting better performance by the party this time. But poll results proved otherwise.

Another group in the Pradesh Congress is blaming delay in announcement of candidates' name as the reason for debacle. "Bahujan Samaj Party was ready with its official list long back. Our candidates got very little time to campaign," a functionary said adding, that nomination papers of three candidates were rejected.

"The candidates had very little time at their disposal which added to our problems," the functionary added.

As one-third of Congress' total seats have come only from Rae Bareli and Amethi, the efforts of Priyanka Vadra who focused on the two districts are being lauded.

Congress' tally has even failed to match the party's performance in the last Vidhan Sabha and the Lok Sabha elections.

Congress had won 25 seats in the 2002 Vidhan Sabha poll and led on 44 Assembly segments in the Lok Sabha poll.

In 1985, Congress had won 269 seats. The figure went down to 94 in 1989. It has stooped down to 21 in 2007.