NEW DELHI: Amid the face-off between the Congress and the BJP in Uttar Pradesh, the nearly dormant Congress is giving a tough fight to the ruling party on the streets of Lucknow. On Tuesday, state Congress President Ajay Kumar Lallu and Congress legislature party leader Aradhana Misra staged protests against the arrest of Congress minority cell chief Shahnawaz Alam.
Prior to this, the Congress state chief was seen in a verbal spat with police personnel on Monday night when Alam was arrested by the Lucknow police for his alleged role in the anti-CAA violence which took place in December last year.
Ever since Priyanka Gandhi Vadra took over as party in-charge of eastern UP, the Congress has been confronting the Yogi Adityanath government on every issue — the most recent was the buses for migrants where Priyanka Gandhi caught the Yogi government off guard and offered 1,000 buses to transport migrants.
Jitin Prasada, a Congress Working Committee member from the state, said "Only the Congress is raising the issue of people — from migrants to collapse of law and order in the state to the killings of the Brahmins, which has increased in this regime."
Aiming a barb at the Chief Minister who belongs to the Rajput community, Prasada said "the government is rattled by the Congress raising issues constantly."
"First, our state president was kept in jail for four weeks on fake charges. Now this police action is repressive and undemocratic. Congress workers are not afraid of police and fake cases," Priyanka Gandhi said in a tweet on Tuesday morning.
The Congress leaders alleged that the SP and the BSP have been keeping mum, with Priyanka Gandhi even targeting BSP leader Mayawati saying she was the unofficial spokesperson of the BJP. "As I said, some opposition leaders have become unannounced spokespersons of the BJP, which is beyond my comprehension," Priyanka alleged.
The Congress wants to place itself to a position where it is considered a serious player in UP politics where the SP and the BSP have core votebanks which the Congress lacks, a Congress leader said.
But the problem plaguing the party for long is its weak organisation which is now being fixed by infusing fresh blood. The Congress leader is eyeing the BSP's Dalit vote bank and wants to discredit Mayawati by accusing her of being with the BJP as the Congress thinks the vote is against the BJP. Also, during this corona crisis the BSP has allegedly left its supporters to fend for themselves, said a party insider.
The Congress by taking a fierce anti-CAA stand has already made a dent in the Muslim votebank of the SP. But the party knows that this vote will only come when it will have a core base.
Another Congress leader Vishwanath Chaturvedi said, "without Brahmins the survival of the Congress in the state is difficult as the core vote is Brahmin, Dalit and Muslim and to fight BJP the Congress will have to tap the support of this community which is miffed with the BJP." (IANS)