Cong MLAs fail to choose CLP leader, Sonia asked to decide
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A meeting of newly-elected Congress MLAs failed to choose their leader in the state Assembly on Monday. Instead, party president Sonia Gandhi was authorised to name the leader.
The decision was taken at a meeting, held in the presence of AICC observers Sushil Kumar Shinde, Moti Lal Vora and Digvijaya Singh, party general secretary in-charge of UP.
Before the resolution was passed, the observers met the MLAs individually and asked for their choice of the next Congress legislature party (CLP) leader. The observers said their views will be conveyed to Sonia Gandhi.
Though it was agreed to authorise the party president, not everyone was happy. One of the MLAs said, "All other parties have decided their legislature party leaders but Congress, with just 28 MLAs, cannot. Everyone has to abide by the decision of the high command, but we just do not want any other leader to misuse this authority."
Pramod Tiwari was the CLP leader in the last Assembly and most MLAs reportedly want a change. Sources said most MLAs seemed to favour Pradeep Mathur, who was deputy leader under Tiwari, and senior MLA Anugrah Narayan Singh.
Sources said the observers only asked them about their choice of CLP leader, not the state party president, the post for which lies vacant since Rita Bahuguna Joshi has already submitted her resignation.
Three MLAs who did not attend the meeting were Nadeem Javed from Jaunpur, Kazim Ali Khan from Suar Tanda in Rampur and Ajai Rai from Varanasi.
At the meeting, Digvijaya Singh clarified that the central government has nothing to do with arranging sacks for storage of wheat being procured in the state. Recently, the SP had blamed the Centre for a shortage of sacks.
He said that the central government provides around Rs 1,800 per quintal to the state government for wheat procurement. The sacks have to be arranged by the states. He asked the MLAs to raise issues related to wheat purchase in the current Assembly session.
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