By Amita Verma
Lucknow, March 15 (IANS) Alarm bells are now ringing for the beleaguered Congress in Uttar Pradesh. After the expulsion of seniors, it is now the upper caste youths who are on the warpath, directly accusing the UPCC president Ajay Kumar Lallu of working on anti-upper caste policies.
Another section of the party is miffed over the growing dominance of “leaders imported from Left parties” in the Congress.
The party veterans have sent a letter to party’s disciplinary committee chief A.K. Antony, demanding justice for themselves and action against UPCC office-bearers.
“It’s an irony that at a time when powerful faces are deserting Congress and we want to stay and sacrifice ourselves for the party, we are not being heard,” said Siraj Mehndi, one of the signatories.
Another expelled leader said, “It is unfortunate that leaders from outfits like AISA and Rihai Manch are being given preference in the party while staunch Gandhi loyalists who bore the brunt of the crackdown of anti-Congress regimes and stood by the party through thick and thin have been thrown out by Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. Our efforts to meet Sonia Gandhi have also proved futile.”
The veterans are particularly upset with Sandeep Singh, said to be Priyanka Gandhi’s ‘personal assistant’. Sources said that Sandeep Singh was one among those who had shown black flags to the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2005.
Singh, who now calls the shots in UP Congress, is a student leader from the All India Students’ Association (AISA) — a wing of the CPI (M-L) and comes from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).
Others ‘imported’ leaders include Mohit Pandey, also a former AISA functionary who is the social media head of UPCC.
Shahnawaz Husain, formerly with Rihai Manch which is known for its advocacy of terror suspects, is now head of UPCC’s minority cell.
Dinesh Singh, in-charge of party administration, is an old AISA hand. Besides, Yunus Baig, in-charge, social media, is also from Rihai Manch.
Meanwhile, a young Congress leader Konark Dixit has set up a WhatsApp group called ‘Shoshit Congress Savarna UP’. The group regularly mounts a blistering attack on the state leadership.
“I have given a large part of my life to the Congress and will not allow some leaders to destroy the party. We believe in the party high command and want the leaders to see through what is happening in UP,” he said.
Interestingly, members in the group include several senior Congress leaders and some media persons too.
Another Congress leader Vivek Upadhyay has even announced on the social media that if Ajay Kumar Lallu is not immediately removed, the party would face an exodus of leaders very soon.
Meanwhile, former UPCC president admitted that the situation in the state party unit was getting ‘critical by the day’ and said that the party leadership should immediately intervene ‘before it is too late.’
UPCC president Ajay Kumar Lallu did not respond to calls.