Senior Congress leaders skip meeting called by Scindia to review poll drubbing
Senior Congress leaders in Uttar Pradesh who had contested the recently concluded Lok Sabha polls skipped the meeting called by party's general secretary and incharge for Uttar Pradesh West Jyotiraditya Scindia on Friday to discuss the reasons behind party's drubbing in the elections.
Former Union minister Sri Prakash Jaiswal who unsuccessfully contested the Lok Sabha polls from Kanpur did not attend the meeting.
Senior Congress leader and former Union minister Salman Khurshid and Jitin Prasada also skipped the meeting called at the party's state headquarters in Lucknow.
However, Congress MLA from Kanpur Cantt Sohail Ansari and district president Hariprakash Agnihotri were present the meeting.
Sources said that most of the leaders from Western Uttar Pradesh who had a closed door discussion with Scindia and state Congress chief Raj Babbar blamed the weak organisation responsible for the debacle in the polls.
A few leaders also said that the party gave priority to turncoats instead of loyal workers, which is another reason behind dismal performance.
Speaking to media after the review meeting, Scindia said, "The party leaders and workers have given important feedback and suggestions regarding strengthening the organisation for 2022 state polls. The results are completely unsatisfactory but we will be contesting the future polls with full strength."
"The decision of projecting Priyanka as the CM face will be taken by the top leadership but our focus right now is only on strengthening the organisation," added Scindia.
Former MP and Congress leader Savitri Bai Phule said, "I lost elections from Bahraich due to the EVMs. We had earlier demanded that the polls should be held through ballot paper system. I have also communicated the issue to the party leadership."
Another Congress leader and former MP Rajaram Pal said, "It's very clear that the party will be contesting the future polls without any alliance. We will focus on strengthening the party at every booth level across the state."
Meanwhile, in a meeting called by Priyanka Gandhi Vadra earlier this week in Rae Bareli to review the party's poor performance, most of the leaders urged her to become the chief ministerial face in the upcoming state polls.
Out of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh, the Congress party only won from Rae Bareli, the parliamentary constituency of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi also lost from his stronghold Amethi by a margin of around 55,000 votes.