Khurshid heads key Congress panel for UP polls, ‘letter writers’ snubbed

Congress leaders like Jitin Prasada and Raj Babbar who along with 20 other seniors had urged Sonia Gandhi for an organisational overhaul have not been given any place on 7 party committees formed for UP Assembly polls

Salman Khursid
Khurshid is among the leaders considered close to the Gandhi family | File Photo: PTI

In a decision that translates into ‘reward for loyalists’ and ‘snub for dissenters’, the All India Congress Committee (AICC) selected senior leader Salman Khurshid as the head of a committee that will prepare the party manifesto ahead of the Uttar Pradesh polls, while assigning no posts to leaders like Jitin Prasada and Raj Babbar in six other committees announced on Sunday (September 6).

Prasada and Babbar were among the 22 Congress leaders who wrote to Sonia Gandhi, seeking an overhaul of the party including a “visible and full-time” leadership. Khurshid, a Gandhi family loyalist, on the other hand had criticised the letter writers and shown his faith in the leadership of Sonia.

Related news: Please rise above family: Expelled UP leaders in letter to Sonia

After the letter went public, several loyalists of Sonia including chief ministers, MPs and MLAs wrote to her, pledging their allegiance to her, while others demanded action against the 22 Congress leaders. The Lakhimpur Kheri District Congress Committee in Uttar Pradesh had passed a resolution demanding action against the signatories including Prasada.


For some, loyalty has paid off. Party leaders like Nirmal Khatri and Naseeb Pathan, who had criticised the letter’s signatories, were inducted to the other panels.

The formation of the committees for the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) comes ahead of the Assembly and Panchayat polls in the state.

The other committees will be headed by Pramod Tiwari (outreach committee), Anugrah Narayan Singh (membership committee), Noor Bano (programme implementation committee), Nirmal Khatri (training and cadre development committee), Rajesh Mishra (panchayati raj election committee) and Rashid Alvi (media and communication advisory committee).