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Controversy arises in UP Congress regarding the naming of Ajay Rai as new UPCC Chief

Rajesh Mishra, former Varanasi MP and a member of the party’s central election committee, commented that the Congress had disregarded social equilibrium by selecting a ‘Bhumihar’ candidate instead of prioritizing their core voters.

Updated On – 09:47 AM, Mon – 21 August 23


Controversy arises in UP Congress regarding the naming of Ajay Rai as new UPCC Chief



Varanasi: Trouble is brewing in the Uttar Pradesh Congress over the appointment of Ajay Rai as the new UPCC chief.

Former Varanasi MP and member of the party’s central election committee, Rajesh Mishra said the Congress “overlooked social balance by appointing a ‘Bhumihar’ instead of focusing on core voters”.

“At a time when the party is in a mission mode to make Rahul Gandhi the future prime minister, it is difficult to understand why the leadership preferred a ‘Bhumihar’ instead of focusing on winning over its core voters – Dalits, Brahmins and Muslims – who kept the Congress in power for 70 years,” he said.

The vote percentage of Brahmins, Dalits and Muslims is over 15 per cent each in the total population while Bhumihars comprise less than 1 per cent in total population.

They dominate only 4-5 Assembly seats of the state.

“The fact that BJP has already attracted Bhumihars by giving respectable positions to leaders like J&K Lt Governor Manoj Sinha, Uttar Pradesh ministers Surya Pratap Shahi and A.K. Sharma, roping in a leader from the same caste as UPCC chief is a decision which is difficult to understand.

“The move is also surprising as neighbouring Bihar and Jharkhand have state presidents from Bhumihar community. No state unit of Congress has a Brahmin president,” Mishra said, clarifying that Ajay Rai was like a younger brother to him and that he was happy over his progress.

“It is time to develop a mechanism to think about options which can bring core voters of the party back. Brahmins had started maintaining distance from the Congress since the mid-nineties when they supported the BJP. They also played a decisive role in the formation of the BSP and the SP governments in the state before returning to the BJP fold. Dalits and Muslims also shifted support to SP and BSP.

“Brahmins, Dalits and Muslims are dissatisfied with BJP, SP and BSP. Despite knowing this fact, this decision was taken. The integrity of those people, who were instrumental in Rai’s appointment, is doubtful. Congress never believed in caste politics but it maintains social balance perfectly due to which people from all sections of society voted it to power for decades,” Mishra added.

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