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Why Nirmal Khattri chose 9/11 to take charge of party?
In any case Nirmal Khattri faces several new challenges, for example he will have to explain to journalists why he chose to change his joining date from September 7 to 9/11? What message is he trying to send out to the Muslim masses by doing so?

ON THE 11th anniversary of 9/11 Attacks in the US, the new Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) President, Nirmal Khattri, took charge of the party in a manner which shows that a faction-ridden and sharply divided within itself, the party is trying hopelessly to get ready for the Lok Sabha elections in 2014.

Congress general secretary and Yuvraj, Rahul Gandhi has divided the Congress party in the state into eight zones, and has appointed eight zonal managers to speak, alas Uttar Pradesh is not a factory product to be marketed. The problem with Rahul Gandhi is that he himself doesn’t understand the Uttar Pradesh politics, which is divided on caste lines and where the minority vote plays an important role as happened in the recently concluded assembly elections where the OBCs and Muslims voted for the Samajwadi Party, and the result is out now to see and understand what impact does the minority vote bank can have in formation of the government.

It seems his political advisors and mentors too have no vision and plan for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. They are not able to differentiate between a ‘product’ marketing and ‘political’ marketing. The two are different fields and different games altogether. Product selling is a bit easy as you have something concrete in hand and can satisfy the buyer on its benefits or merits whereas in political marketing, one needs to sell assurances and promises and this would not be easy this time for the Congress following a series of scams and high inflation.

The other factor that will come to play an important role in the state here is that the ‘so called’ office-bearers in the Congress party are only ‘office-bearers’ who have no real grassroot support or workers. They are in existence only because of their proximity with 10 Janpath. In short, with the exception of Raja Rampal they have no hardcore following nor can they bring about a revolution in the way the party functions.

The Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee organized a function to celebrate the joining of Nirmal Khattri from Faizabad as the new state chief, and it was done in proper cognizance of the Congress culture where journalists were plied wine and meat in plenty at a prominent ‘three star’ hotel in the city near Parivartan Chowk. However, it seems someone forgot to invite the former president of the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee, Dr. Rita Bahugana Joshi to the function and party. Is it some sort of ‘Rita Phobia’ that has gripped the party office bearers in Lucknow?

Several of Rita's men are likely to be axed in times to come regardless of their contribution to the party, and in any case with the new structure of zones the Chairman etc. become redundant. In short they have already been kicked out of the party. For an army at war with hardly any troops, shooting their own troops in the field is anything but stupidity. So God help the Congress.

Is Rahul Gandhi therefore riding towards disaster? One can never say the voter in the city is quite upset with the Congress especially with hundreds of scams breaking out everyday. In fact each newspaper has become a scam sheet of sorts ever since the UPA-II assumed its office. So will Rahul be routed along with his eight generals and new MD of the UPCC? It will be something which everybody in the party and Congress loyalists would be keenly watching.

The Saffronisation of Uttar Pradesh is taking place once again, in fact of the entire nation and projecting the leader of opposition in Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj, as the Prime Ministerial candidate in 2014 will help the lotus bloom. A pity the Congress known more for its hardworking, hand will see the hand wilt instead of the flower in 2014. With Narendra Modi out of the race for PM post, the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) is in no longer taboo for certain Muslims who feel it will be better to have the BJP come in to power just to prevent scams from taking place.

In any case Nirmal Khattri faces several new challenges, for example he will have to explain to journalists why he chose to change his joining date from September 7 to 9/11? What message is he trying to send out to the Muslim masses by doing so? Secondly, it seems that a certain political party had distributed several new SLR cameras and Blackberry phones to the media but everyone in the media is in a denial mode, saying that they have not received any camera or mobile. So will Khattri too, have to distribute Canon SLRs and Blackberrys before the Lok Sabha polls?

I missed the wine and the kebabs at the Hotel bash but I would not mind a Blackberry or a Canon SLR. The camera really shoots well and has a great zoom.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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