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Priyanka Gandhi Stamps Authority With UP Reshuffle as Aide Ajay Kumar Lallu Replaces Raj Babbar at Helm

Ajay Kumar Lallu is said to be close to Gandhi and has risen through the ranks, something that has worked in his favour as the Congress looks to re-establish its grassroots base before the assembly elections in the state in 2022.

News18.com

Updated:October 8, 2019, 8:04 AM IST
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Priyanka Gandhi Stamps Authority With UP Reshuffle as Aide Ajay Kumar Lallu Replaces Raj Babbar at Helm
File photo of Priyanka Gandhi with Ajay Kumar Lallu (right).

Lucknow: The Congress on Monday appointed Ajay Kumar Lallu as the new president of its Uttar Pradesh unit to replace Raj Babbar as part of general secretary Priyanka Gandhi’s plan of a complete overhaul.

Lallu is said to be close to Gandhi and has risen through the ranks, something that has worked in his favour as the Congress looks to re-establish its grassroots base before the assembly elections in the state in 2022.

A two-time MLA from the Tamkuhi Raj constituency in Kushinagar, he went from being a party worker to the leader of Congress Legislative Party in UP as well as in charge of the party’s affairs in eastern UP.

Taking his place as the new CLP leader will be Rampur MLA Aradhna Mishra Mona, who is the daughter of senior leader Pramod Tiwari. As part of the revamp, the Congress will also get a new 45-member state executive body.

Babbar had offered to resign in May, taking “moral responsibility” after the party’s Lok Sabha poll debacle.

Sources said Priyanka zeroed in on Lallu as the chief because he has worked on the ground, unlike many "senior leaders of the UPCC who do not have base in UP but operate from Delhi."

Several senior party leaders were said to be unhappy with the move and had even voiced their reservations, saying it would not be appropriate to appoint a person who was "new" to the party, but Gandhi stamped her authority and decided to stick with her choice.

Gandhi was said to be is impressed with the performance of Lallu, who accompanied her in every agitation, including the high pitched Ganga Yatra before the elections and also the Sonbhadra agitation after the shooting incident.

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