Congress seeks to regain lost bastion of Poorvanchal

With an eye on Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections due next year, Congress Wednesday launched an exercise to reclaim the politically crucial Poorvanchal region holding political rivals responsible for the problems plaguing the area.

Varanasi: With an eye on Uttar Pradesh
Assembly elections due next year, Congress on Wednesday launched an
exercise to reclaim the politically crucial Poorvanchal region
holding political rivals responsible for the problems plaguing
the area.
At the state-level convention of the party, Congress not
only lambasted its political adversaries, especially the
ruling BSP for the sorry state of affairs in the region,
facing problems like drought and flood, but also included
issues relating to these areas including sale of state-owned
sugar mills and plight of weavers in its political and
economic resolution.

Poorvanchal with 22 districts of eastern Uttar Pradesh
and more than 100 seats in state Assembly, is considered to be
politically crucial.

Congress` performance in the Poorvanchal region, which
was once considered its bastion giving the state its five
chief ministers, had been dismal in the last few elections
with party winning only four seats in 2007 Assembly elections.
"This time the party has fair chance in the region where
it had been making efforts to make inroads since long and
national general secretary Rahul Gandhi`s rally in Ambedkar
Nagar last year is an example," a senior party leader said.

In fact before Varanasi convention, the party held a
rally in Basti, a district of Poorvanchal region, in April
month.

The Lok Sabha polls in which party had won 10 seats from
this region has encouraged the Congress.

"Considering that every Lok Sabha constituency has five
assembly seats, the party has fair chances of winning 40 to 45
seats in the region in assembly polls," he said.

The party in its resolution presented by Union Minister
for Water Resources Salman Khursheed has included issues
related to Poorvanchal like giving official status to Bhojpuri
language, sale of sugar mills, plight of weavers in the region
and setting up of second state reorganisation commission.

"The party strongly opposes the state government move to
sell state-owned and cooperative sugar mills at throw away
prices," the resolution said while alleging scam in the
transfer process.

While raising the issue of weavers and accusing the
government for their existing plight, the party has demanded
that their power dues should be waived off.

Even as demand for creation of a separate Poorvanchal
state is increasing the party in its resolution said that it
supports creation of smaller states and demanded the Centre to
constitute a second state reorganisation commission.

"The party also supports the demand to include Bhojpuri
in the eighth schedule of the Constitution," the resolution
said.
The party attacked the BSP government on the issues of
crime against women, unemployment, problems in Bundelkhand
region and poor law and order situation and highlighted the
achievements of the UPA government including Right to
Information Act and proposed Food Security Bill.

The party also attacked the BSP government alleging that
condition of dalits was serious in the state.

“The UPPCC is of the view that despite a dalit women
being the chief minister of the state, neither the respect of
dalit women nor a common dalit is safe in the state,? the
resolution alleged.

"The state is reeling under the misrule of BSP and
Mulayam Singh Yadav.

The elected government is forcibly taking farmers land
and is selling to industrialists at higher price.

The people are looking towards the party and of it fails
to succeed this time, they will not forgive,? Union Minister
for Steel Beni Prasad Verma said while addressing the
convention.

Verma, a prominent schedule caste leader from eastern UP
and MP from Gonda, said that the party should associate itself
with farmers and Muslims and make it a part of its election
strategy.

"Major part of the fund devolved to the state goes into
corruption. The government is deep into corruption from top to
bottom. Law and order situation is such that no one is
interested in making investment here," Union Minister for Coal
Shriprakash Jaiswal said.
The convention was also addressed by chairman of National
SC/ST commission P L Punia, MPs Raj Babbar, Mohd Azharduddin,
Anu Tandon and Kamal Kishore, UPCC president Rita Bahuguna
Joshi and Congress Legislative Party Leader in UP assembly
Pramod Tiwari.

PTI

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