Cong to launch early election campaign in UP

As part of Rahul Gandhi`s `Mission 2012` to regain power in Uttar Pradesh, the Congress today decided to launch an early election campaign focusing on the alleged "institutionalised corruption" of the Mayawati government.

Updated: Jul 08, 2010, 22:41 PM IST

New Delhi: As part of Rahul Gandhi`s
`Mission 2012` to regain power in Uttar Pradesh, the Congress
today decided to launch an early election campaign focusing on
the alleged "institutionalised corruption" of the Mayawati
government.

"We will start by preparing a charge sheet on
corruption in the UP government on December 28 this year. We
will prepare booklets and distribute it in each of the
assembly constituencies," AICC General Secretary in-charge of
the state Digvijay Singh told reporters here.

Singh`s statement comes a day after the party decided
that the candidates for the 403 assembly seats in the crucial
state would be decided an year in advance to take on the
ruling BSP.

This is the first time that candidates will be
declared and the election campaign launched more than a year
before the scheduled dates of the polls.

Asked whether caste would be a factor in the 2012
polls, Singh said, "development and institutinalised
corruption of the state government will be the deciding
factors".

On whether secularism as a poll plank could benefit
Congress in the state, the AICC General Secretary said the
party has to take the line of "fighting fundamentalist Hindus
and Muslims at the same time. This is a party of liberals".

The Congress leader also dismissed the impact of
assembly bye-elections in which the BSP emerged victorious
saying, "normally the ruling party manages to win the
bye-polls and they do not indicate much".

Meanwhile party sources said that even though the
Congress would contest the polls alone, it was in touch with
smaller parties and individuals having influence in certain
caste groups.

"Efforts will be made to merge these parties with the
Congress," sources indicated.

Asked about the progress of the merger proposal of
Ajit Singh led RLD with the Congress, sources said that talks
have been held but nothing concrete has materialised as yet.

"He (Ajit Singh) is a tough negotiator. Let us see
what happens," was the refrain of the leader who admitted that
a merger would benefit the Congress.

Sources, however, ruled out the possibility of any
alliance with RLD saying there was "apprehension" among a
section of Congress leaders in western UP.

Meanwhile, the party claimed that it has now 57 lakh
members in the state compared to 34 lakhs earlier.

PTI