Caste equation in mind, Congress appoints Ajay Rai as the new UP chief
In an organisational reshuffle ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, the Congress appointed former MLA Ajay Rai as the president of the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC)
Five-time MLA and a ‘strong’ leader with mass connect from Purvanchal region, Ajay Rai, has been appointed as the new chief of the Uttar Pradesh Congress.
Ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls Rai’s appointment assumes significance, as the Congress is aiming to revive its political fortune in the state which has 80 Lok Sabha seats in its kitty.
And Rai – who possess the ‘money and muscle power’ required to win the tough terrain of the Purvanchal region – may help the Congress win some seats in the Lok Sabha elections, believe political watchers.
Out of 29 Lok Sabha seats falling under the region, BJP had won 27 in the last Lok Sabha election.
Three spiritual centers of Hinduism – Ayodhya, Varanasi and Gorakhpur, come under the Purvanchal belt. With the appointment of Rai, who enjoys a good rapport with the seer community in all three centers, Congress hope to wrest few seats in the region.
Rai who comes from the Bhumihar community, has key presence among the Brahmin community in and around Varanasi.
Apart from his assertive style of politics, Rai is also known for challenging PM Modi in 2014 and 2019 in Varanasi. Though Rai finished third, both times, his stature rose in Congress due to his unflinching determination throughout the campaign. After his appointment, Rai said INDIA alliance will win in 2024.
“We will elevate the Congress to new heights in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Following a programme in Ghazipur, I will visit the Baba Kashi Vishwanath shrine in Varanasi on Friday, after which I will decide on assuming my new responsibilities.” Rai was quoted as saying by the Hindustan Times.
Congress Legislature Party leader Aradhana Mishra ‘Mona’ welcomed the selection of Rai as UPCC president. She remarked, “Rai possesses a wealth of experience within the party organisation. He is a former legislator as well, and his expertise will greatly benefit the Congress.”
Rai’s predecessor Brijlal Khabri who had switched to Congress from BSP, said, “This decision is made by the Congress leadership. I accept it and will continue my dedication to the party,
Published: 18 Aug 2023, 3:14 PM