UP Cong leaders refuse to return jeeps given for poll campaign

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Lucknow, Sep 24 (UNI) The All India Congress Committee (AICC) faces a peculiar situation ahead of Gujarat assembly elections as district presidents in Uttar Pradesh have refused to return jeeps given to them for campaigning in the just-concluded assembly elections here.

Despite several reminders, none of the 70 Bolero jeeps have been returned to the AICC. These jeeps are now to be used by the AICC for campaigning in Gujarat assembly elections due later this year.

Congress has sent one of its MPs, Hanumant Rao, to Lucknow to expediate the process. ''If the jeeps are not returned, we may even lodge FIRs against the erring leaders as vehicles are registered in the name of the AICC,'' said a senior UP Congress leader.

The jeeps were bought almost a year ago for campaigning and UP was the first state to get the vehicles for campaigning during assembly elections.

Recently, the jeep given to the Fatehpur district Congress committee was involved in an accident in which a father-son duo riding a bicycle were killed. Since the insurance of the vehicle had expired, the AICC might have to pay a hefty compensation to next of kin. ''The insurance had expired after a period of one year...either the district president should have renewed the insurance or could have asked the UPCC to renew it,'' said a senior leader.

Besides the vehicles, the district presidents were given Rs 50,000 for fuel and maintenance.

The number of Congress MLAs had plummeted from 25 to 22 in this assembly election.

UNI

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