Congress may not contest UP bypolls

Lucknow: The Congress in Uttar Pradesh may decide against contesting the bye-elections to 11 Assembly segments that have been necessitated after 11 legislators from the state won the Lok Sabha polls.

Majority of the party leaders feel that the party should avoid contesting bye-elections until its organisation strength right from the booth level has improved.

A group of former Congress legislators and leaders have sent a letter to Congress President Rahul Gandhi, urging him to concentrate on building up the party organisation before contesting elections.

“The bye-elections to 11 Assembly segments will not change the complexion of the state assembly since the BJP is way ahead of the halfway mark but if the Congress does not fare well then the party will face maximum flak,” said a former legislator who is a signatory to the letter sent to the party high command.

The party leaders feel that the Congress, in fact, should start preparing for the 2022 Aassembly elections which is still two and a half years away.

“We have time and we should learn from the BJP when it comes to mobilising party cadres. The party should take up one Assembly segment at a time and ensure that the organisation is built down to the booth level.

“There are 403 Assembly segments. And even if we devote one day to one segment, we will build up the organisation within 13 months after which the party can start candidate selection,” a former Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) president suggested.

A section of party leaders have communicated their suggestion to UPCC President Raj Babbar, who has also resigned, owning moral responsibility for the party’s poor performance in the recent elections. There has been no decision on his resignation though.

A senior leader, said to be close to Babbar, said that unless a decision is taken on his resignation, he cannot initiate any exercise for party building.

“There is no doubt that every Congress worker and leader now feels that time has come for us to end our differences and work collectively towards strengthening the party. I agree that we should avoid contesting bye-elections unless we are very sure of the results,” he said.

Meanwhile, bye-elections to 11 Assembly segments were to be held in Uttar Pradesh. Rita Bahuguna, a legislator from Lucknow Cantt, has been elected to the Lok Sabha from Allahabad and her Assembly seat will be vacant.

So shall be Satyadev Pachauri’s, who won from Kanpur and his assembly seat Govind Nagar, will fall vacant.

The third, Uttar Pradesh Minister S.P. Singh Baghel has won from the Agra Lok Sabha seat and his Assembly seat Tundla will face a bye-election.

Similarly, BJP MLA from Pratapgarh, Sangam Lal Gupta, is now the MP from Pratapgarh. Saharanpur BJP MLA Pradeep Kumar has won the Kairana Lok Sabha seat.

BJP MLA from Chitrakoot R.K. Singh Patel has won the Banda Lok Sabha seat while Barabanki MLA Upendra Rawat is now an MP from the same seat.

Bahraich legislator Akshaywar Lal has won the same Lok Sabha seat and in Aligarh, BJP MLA Rajvir Singh has scored a victory on the Hathras seat.

SP MLA Azam Khan will soon vacate his Rampur seat since he has won the Lok Sabha elections from the same Lok Sabha seat.

In Ambedkar Nagar, BSP MLA Ritesh Pandey has won the Lok Sabha elections and his Jalalpur Assembly seat will also be vacant.