Lucknow, Jan 2 (IANS) After expelling ten senior leaders from the party last year, the Congress in Uttar Pradesh is now realising its mistake and wants to make amends.
Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, according to sources, is preparing to take the initiative of assuaging the feelings of the seniors in the party.
Priyanka has asked the young leaders to reach out to the veterans in each village, block and district and seek their guidance for re-establishing the party.
“We need energy from the youth and experience from the seniors to revive the party,” she reportedly said at one of the numerous meetings she addressed during her recent visit to Lucknow.
Priyanka is planning to host a lunch/dinner meeting for the senior leaders of the party, including former MPs and legislators.
“The lunch/dinner meeting will be hosted as soon as the weather becomes warmer. The venue could be Lucknow or Delhi — the preference is Delhi since the Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi will also be able to attend the event. The idea is to reach out to the seniors who have, apparently, been feeling left out,” said a party leader.
The divide between the veterans and the youth in the party has been widening since November when the party expelled ten senior party leaders who had come together, ostensibly to celebrate the birth anniversary of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and discussed the state of affairs in the state Congress.
The divide widened when Priyanka did not visit the residence of veteran leader Kranti Kumar, who passed away on December 3. The residence of Kranti Kumar is less than a kilometre form the Congress state headquarters.
The expelled leaders held a parallel celebration of the foundation day of the Congress on December 28 and more senior leaders joined them on the occasion.
The seniors had sought an appointment with Congress president Sonia Gandhi, but they got no response.
“We do not blame Priyanka entirely. If she was not aware of Kranti Kumar’s demise, it is the state leadership that is to be blamed. Did UPCC president Ajay Kumar Lallu inform her of this?” asked one of the expelled leaders.
Expelled Congress leader Haji Siraj Mehndi said: “We have never said that we are no longer with the Congress. Most of us have worked with Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi and the party ideology runs in our blood. In fact, we are working to revive the Congress that we lived in. It is the leadership that has not given us a chance to meet and express our feelings.”