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Keeping 2024 Poll Strategy in Mind, UP Congress Likely to Pick a Dalit As Its Chief

By: Qazi Faraz Ahmad

News18.com

Last Updated: August 09, 2022, 12:50 IST

Lucknow, India

A deserted UP Congress office in Lucknow after the party lost in the assembly polls this year. UP Congress Committee president Ajay Kumar Lallu had resigned following the poll debacle. (PTI File Photo)

A deserted UP Congress office in Lucknow after the party lost in the assembly polls this year. UP Congress Committee president Ajay Kumar Lallu had resigned following the poll debacle. (PTI File Photo)

Harshvardhan Shyam, a Dalit, is the top name in the fray for the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee chief’s post. He has been the national general secretary of the Youth Congress and is the joint secretary in the AICC

Being headless for quite some time now, the Uttar Pradesh Congress will soon get a new chief after the last state Congress Committee president Ajay Kumar Lallu resigned following the 2022 assembly election debacle, according to sources.

The sources in the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) said the new chief may get appointed from the Dalit community keeping in mind the party’s strategy for the 2024 general elections. The Congress, at present, has one parliamentary seat of Raebareli, which party interim president Sonia Gandhi had won in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. This was considered as the worst performance ever of Congress as it had lost its bastion of Amethi to BJP’s Smriti Irani in 2019.

In the recently concluded 2022 UP assembly elections, the Congress gave its worst-ever performance with its tally coming down to 2 MLAs from that of 7 MLAs in 2017. The vote percentage of the Grand Old Party also dipped from 6.25% in 2017 to 2.33% in the 2022 assembly polls.

A senior UPCC functionary not willing to be named told News18, “UPCC may get its new chief within the next 10 days. Harshvardhan Shyam is the top name who is in the fray at the moment, and hails from the Dalit community. He has been the national general secretary of the Youth Congress and is joint secretary in the AICC.”

Harshvardhan Shyam hails from a family of civil servants and his father Radhey Shyam was a former IPS while his brother is a pilot. Harshvardhan has been studied at JNU and has been connected to the Congress for more than a decade. He had also contested the 2012 UP assembly elections on a Congress ticket from Mohanlalganj seat.

Apart from Harshvardhan Shyam, the other names doing the rounds are of Brijlal Khabri, who is again come from the Dalit community, Rajesh Mishra, a Brahmin, and former Congress MP Nirmal Khattri.

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first published:August 09, 2022, 12:46 IST
last updated:August 09, 2022, 12:50 IST