A day after Rahul Gandhi visited Amethi for the first time after his shocking defeat to BJP's Smriti Irani in the recent Lok Sabha elections, the Congress has begun a comprehensive review of the reasons behind the electoral debacle in the traditional Gandhi stronghold.
The review, which began in right earnest on Thursday, following Rahul's visit to the constituency, is being undertaken by a two-member team comprising legislature party leader Ajay Kumar Lallu, who has been tasked with carrying out organisational changes in eastern Uttar Pradesh, and AICC Secretary Bajirao Khade.
“The review meetings will look at each Vidhan Sabha constituency individually,” said Amethi Congress spokesman Anil Singh. The party has invited organisation elders from the constituency, district and block level leaders as also members of the Youth Congress, Seva Dal, Mahila Congress and NSUI to participate in the meetings.
The review is being conducted amidst swirling complaints about the lackaidaiscal attitude of the local leadership in the constituency. A number of party workers who attended the meeting with Rahul on Wednesday spoke about the failure of the local leaders in reaching out to the electorate in the villages and claimed that they were disconnected with the grassroots. In the interaction, Rahul also said the organisation at the local level had failed in its outreach and had it worked a little harder, the result would have been different.
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A preliminary review undertaken by the party at the insistence of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, AICC General Secretary in-charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh, had held the 'hostile attitude' of the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party responsible for Rahul's defeat. A major finding of the review exercise conducted by leaders K.L. Sharma and Zubair Khan was that the SP and the BSP worked against the interests of the Congress in the constituency, and their votes went to the BJP.
However, the effort now appears to be focused on fixing the problems within the Congress, in line with the complaints of the party workers in Amethi that the local leaders have become complacent and organisational weaknesses also have to be taken care of.