Lucknow: Ahead of the 2022 assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, the Congress proposes to recruit a new team of spokespersons to forcefully put across its point of view and take its message to every nook and corner of the state.
A written examination is being conducted in different districts and some new faces aspiring to be spokesperson or media coordinator (one spokesperson and one media coordinator in every district) of the Congress are joining the party, hoping to be heard by the people amid the rising political din.
Questions in the examinations focus on the Congress history, the freedom movement, the role of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), the ideological battle, secularism and reservation for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and the other backward classes etc.
“The last words that Mahatma Gandhi said following his assassination?” was one of the questions that expected examinees to express their views about what led to assassination of the Father of the Nation. “Who was the first woman president of Indian National Congress?” was another, expecting that they knew about the election of Annie Besant to the post.
The Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) that recently launched the “Banein UP Ki Awaz” (Be the voice of Uttar Pradesh) campaign, is conducting the examinations to induct youths into the Congress fold and identify those already within the party. Most of the examinees, who were seen speaking to electronic media soon after taking the examination, said they were inspired by the Congress ideology and its leaders, including Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.
“I have been aspiring to join a political party as spokesperson for the past few months. I used to take part in debates in college. When Covid-19 restrictions were imposed, I watched debates about deaths due to shortage of oxygen and realized how the opposition failed to put up a joint front to corner the state government. Then I came across the Congress campaign for appointment of spokespersons and consulted the Congress leaders of my area in Badaun district. I have taken the Congress membership and the examination at Lucknow on Tuesday,” said Jitin Kumar (19), a law student in Lucknow University.
“I am inspired by Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra who has been raising issues of public concern. I have been working for women and hope to work with her to bring about an improvement in their condition,” said Ashiya Ali, who took the examination in Unnao on Monday.
The UPCC proposes to complete the exercise of appointing spokespersons in the next few weeks. “The Congress is holding examination to appoint a spokesman and a media coordinator (two posts) in each district. We are conducting written examination to recruit the party’s spokespersons. About 23 applicants took the examination in Unnao on Monday while 16 candidates appeared for the test in Lucknow on Tuesday. We will cover Lucknow division by November 21 and rest of the state in coming weeks,” said Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) spokesperson Uma Shankar Pandey.
“Rahul Gandhi recently said those willing to fight the RSS should be inducted while those scared should leave the Congress. This campaign has been launched by the UPCC at the behest of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to give a voice to the youths who can fight ideological battles,” said Pankaj Srivastava, vice president, UPCC media department.
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