Rizvi convenes meeting in Lucknow; Khursheed, Tewari not invited
Lucknow: Signalling divisions in State party leadership, a group of senior Uttar Pradesh Congress leaders on Tuesday held a meeting here to discuss ways to revive the party’s old glory and announced formation of a forum to effectively implement the party’s programmes.
The meeting, held at the residence of AICC member and senior Congress leader Ammar Rizvi, decided to form “Rajiv Gandhi Workers’ Forum”.
Neither UPCC President Salman Khursheed nor Congress Legislature Party leader Pramod Tewari was present at the meeting.
“We did not invite Mr. Tewari or Mr. Khursheed”, Mr. Rizvi told reporters in reply to a question after the meeting but added that the meeting is not against any one.
He said the Congress, instead of behaving like an opposition party in UP, has become “an appendage” to the ruling party in recent years, owing to which “its reputation and image had taken a severe beating”.
The Congress base “is shrinking...the workers are deserting the party...there is an urgent need to introspect and formulate a strategy to revive the party in the state”, Mr. Rizvi said.
He said he would intimate the AICC President Sonia Gandhi about the formation of the Forum and also seek an early appointment with her to apprise her about the feeling of ordinary party workers in the state about party affairs in Uttar Pradesh. ‘Workers ignored’
Mr. Rizvi, who was flanked several senior State party leaders, said the Congress suffered because ordinary workers were “ignored” and leaders “super imposed”.
Local leadership had been “bypassed” and workers were “humiliated and not paid the respect they deserved”, he said.
He urged the senior leaders of the party sitting in the headquarters to spend at least a week every month in their respective districts and work for strengthening the party organisation at the grass root level.
He said the leaders of the Forum would undertake a tour of Uttar Pradesh between November 14 and November 19.
“Chalo gaon ki oor’ (Let’s move towards villages) will be our slogan to revive the party”, he said.
Senior State Congress leaders Siraj Mehndi, Mata Prasad, Muid Ahmed, Santosh Kumar Singh, Harish Bajpayee and Aamir Haider were present at the meeting. PTI