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Left is right in Uttar Pradesh Congress?

Author: Subhash Mishra
Publication: The Times of India
Date:  March 13, 2020
URL:      https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/lucknow/left-is-right-in-uttar-pradesh-congress/articleshow/74603470.cms

As Congress desperately tries to save its government in Madhya Pradesh, its cadre is facing a different kind of crisis in Uttar Pradesh - the invasion of the red army. The state unit, which has been undergoing a churning since 2019 Lok Sabha poll debacle, is suddenly finding key posts occupied by imports from Left outfits like All India Students' Association (AISA) and Rihai Manch.

Starting from Sandeep Singh, Priyanka Gandhi's personal assistant who is from AISA, there is an influx of young netas from Left outfits handling key positions like administration head and social media in charge.

When asked about their entry, UPCC president Ajay Kumar 'Lallu' told TOI that he had no information about their background.

Sandeep Singh, who courted controversy with his alleged unruly behaviour with a TV reporter during Priyanka's Sonbhadra visit, was a former AISA president at JNU. Mohit Pandey, another former AISA functionary, is the social media head of UPCC. Shahnawaz Husain, formerly with Rihai Manch which is known for its advocacy of terror suspects, is now head of UPCC's minority cell. Dinesh Singh, in charge of party administration, is an old AISA hand. Besides, Yunus Baig, in charge, social media, is from Rihai Manch.

On the other hand, veteran Congressman and Indira loyalist Ram Krishna Dwivedi and several senior members have been expelled from the party. In the early 70s, Dwivedi had defeated then CM TN Singh. Like Dwivedi, several other like Bhoodhar Narain Mishra, Nek Chand Pandey, Santosh Singh and Siraj Mehndi, who had stood by the party and Gandhian ideology even when Congress hit a trough, have been expelled.

These party veterans have shot off a letter to the party's disciplinary committee chief A K Antony seeking their reinstatement and action against UPCC office-bearers. "It's an irony that at a time when powerful faces are deserting Congress and we want to stay and sacrifice ourselves for the party, we are not being heard," said Siraj Mehndi, one of the signatories. "As people from AISA and Rihai Manch have become the pivot of the party, staunch Gandhi loyalists who bore the brunt of the crackdown of anti-Congress regimes and stood by the party through thick and thin have been bundled out by none other than Indira's granddaughter Priyanka," said an old-timer.
 
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