Congress vows to revive itself in UP

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Rajiv Nagar, Kanpur, Mar 30: Voicing concern over the ''beleaguered condition'' of the party in Uttar Pradesh, the Congress today gave a clarion call to its leaders and workers to revive the lost glory of the Party.

The leaders, which included Digvijay Singh, Salman Khurshid, Mohsina Kidwai and Reta Bahuguna Joshi admitted that the party was in a ''beleaguered condition'' in the largest state of the country.

'' It is the time for the Congress to regain its glorious past with the concerted efforts and help of rank and file of the party,'' Mr Singh said while inaugurating the two-day state level convention of the party in the absence of party General Secretary Rahul Gandhi.

The conclave would have party's general meeting and an open session followed by a massive rally addressed by AICC President Sonia Gandhi.

The party also presented for discussion the political and economic resolutions in the convention.

Mr Digvijay Singh said new membership drive would be launched very soon in the state to include new members in the party.

He also said the party leadership on the suggestion of Mr Gandhi, would go for honest screening of the candidates for the Lok Sabha elections and only viable candidates would be given tickets.

The Congress targeted the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in the state for the price rise of essential commodities and other issues and called upon the partymen to expose the later.''We have asked the state leadership to launch agitation at different levels in the state till April 30 to protest against the lapses of the Mayawati government.'', Mr Digvijay Singh said.

Taking strong expection to the functioning of the BSP government in the state, the former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister alleged that corruption was rampant in the state while the blackmarketeers and hoarders in nexus with the government were having a ''free time.'' Terming the issue of discipline within the party a real concern, he said the discipline among partymen had to be maintained at any cost.

UP Congress president Rita Bahuguna Joshi, hinted that some leaders were not active in the agitation programme in the state while the workers were doing everything to strengthen the party base.

''These leaders should join immediately the agitation as the party leadership is keenly watching all the activities of such leaders'', she added with a note of warning to erring party leaders.

Without taking any names, she hit on two political parties in the state--the BSP and SP--alleging that one was based on communal ideology and the other on caste; both were trying to attack the Congress.

Lauding the role of the UPA government, Ms Joshi said UP would be the most favourable state when about four million farmers would be benefited by waiver of Rs 10,000 crore as loan announced by the Centre recently.

Union Minister of state for Home Sriprakash Jaiswal, in his inaugural speech, termed Mr Gandhi as new Jawaharlal Nehru for his concerted efforts to revive the party at the grass-root levels.

''History is being repeated in Kanpur when in the last similar meeting held in 1982, late Rajiv Gandhi was present along with late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. This time Mr Gandhi and Ms Sonia Gandhi will be present tomorrow in the convention'', he said.

UNI

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