He may have been assigned the job to revive the Congress party’s fortunes in politically crucial Uttar Pradesh ahead of the assembly polls next year, but poll strategist Prashant Kishor, it seems, cannot touch the Gandhi family pocket boroughs Rae Bareli and Amethi, and also the neighbouring Sultanpur district.
These three districts are not a part of the exercise taken up by Kishor and his team to make Congress battle ready for 2017 polls. The concerned district units as well as the state unit of Congress claim that they do not need “special expertise” to manage the affairs as, according to them, the “cadre in these districts, personally selected and monitored by Priyanka Vadra, are already an example” for the party units in rest of the state.
Thus, while the other districts have submitted the feedback to some questions asked by Kishor in a written format along with the names and contact numbers of at least 20 “dedicated party workers” from each Assembly constituency, Amethi, Rae Bareli and Sultanpur have been kept out of the process.
“We already have a cadre till grassroots level here, which has been personally selected and monitored by Priyanka. It is not a question of just 20 names, we can give thousands of names from each assembly constituency with their contact numbers but that exercise is not required here,” said Yogendra Mishra, district Congress president in Amethi. Mishra said they were “neither asked to be part of the exercise, nor did they feel the need” because the cadre is already working “under guidance of Priyanka”.
State president Nirmal Khatri confirmed that the three districts have not been asked to submit feedback. “The cadre is already active there and is perfectly in place,” he said. Asked about the reason for excluding Sultanpur, Khatri said, “It is because of our mistakes that things could not be strengthened there. Right now, I cannot give the reasons for excluding Sultanpur as well.”
–By Maulshree Seth