Rahul Gandhi fighting hard to revive Congress in Uttar Pradesh: Will achche din return for the grand old party?

Badri Narayan
Badri NarayanOct 16, 2018 | 13:34

Rahul Gandhi fighting hard to revive Congress in Uttar Pradesh: Will achche din return for the grand old party?

The party president is interacting more with district and city-level workers.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi is trying hard to revive his party in Uttar Pradesh. The Congress knows that without Uttar Pradesh, a return to power in Delhi in 2019 is difficult.

But the party has been on the decline in the state since 1989.

Rahul Gandhi has the task of rebuilding the party from its ashes in Uttar Pradesh.
Rahul Gandhi has the task of rebuilding the Congress from its ashes in Uttar Pradesh. (Photo: PTI/file)


Narayan Dutt Tiwari, popularly known as ND Tiwari, was the last Congress chief minister of India’s largest state. Since the 90s, the grand old party has been increasingly relegated to the margins here, by socialist parties such as Mulayam Singh Yadav’s SP, the Bahujan movement led by Kanshi Ram and Mayawati, and later, the BJP.

Power has rotated among these three parties in UP, while the Congress’s influence has slowly, but continuously, eroded.

Rahul Gandhi had tried to recover the social base of the Congress in Uttar Pradesh earlier too. But those attempts did not work. After becoming the party president, he is again trying hard to rebuild the Congress from its ashes here.

With this objective in view, the state unit of the party is going to begin a ‘Lok Sampark Abhiyan’ (people connect campaign). Under the initiative, Congress workers will go ghar-ghar aur dwar-dwar (house-to-house and door-to-door) to interact with people.

The purpose of this campaign is multi- fold — first, it aims to recruit around 11 lakh booth-level cadre. Second, it will attract more and more youth, especially between the ages of 18 and 21, to become Congress primary members. The third is to collect ‘chanda’ (donations) for the party. Fourth, the campaign will help collect data about voters, their problems, issues, etc.  


Collecting small amounts as ‘chanda’ from people is a clever activity planned by the Congress. Party leaders believe that those who give donations will also feel involved with the party, somewhere considering themselves its stakeholders. This is an old Gandhian strategy of the party, which it forgot while in power.

During the campaign, Congress workers will also explain to the people the BJP’s failures,   and strongly raise issues such as price rise, the increased cost of petrol and diesel, problems of the peasants and the poor, corruption, etc., along with local problems.

The workers will also explain the ideology of the Congress to the people.

The Congress needs to increase its booth-level presence.
The Congress needs towork majorly on increasing its booth-level presence. (Photo: PTI/file)

On his part, Rahul Gandhi has started direct telephonic dialogue with district and city party presidents. Before that, he held an interaction with block presidents of the party.

Over these conversations, he tried to explore how the Congress can become the number one party in UP. He took the theses leaders in confidence, and assured them that this time, poll tickets would be distributed based on their recommendations. Gandhi also stated that indiscipline would not be tolerated in the party anymore.


The party president appealed to Congress workers to focus on local issues in their ‘politics of empowerment’, while giving importance to the youth, women, minority and tribal communities.

Through these aggressive attempts to rebuild the party, the Congress on one hand is trying to recover lost ground, while on the other, it is trying to give a message to the possible alliance partners of the Mahagathbandhan — such as the SP and the BSP — that the grand old party will emerge as a tough negotiator in 2019.

To come back to life in UP, the Congress needs to build grass-root strength, along with inducting new workers for Rahul Gandhi’s new politics. The Congress president has begun his efforts. We have to see to what extent he and his party succeed in them.

Last updated: October 16, 2018 | 13:34
Please log in
I agree with DailyO's privacy policy