Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee has announced a 22-member media team to lead the party in the crucial 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
The committee led by Raj Babbar has sidelined the old and experienced leaders.
The 14-member UPCC media team will be led by lesser known Rajiv Bakshi, who has been appointed coordinator while other members of the team, mostly youths, include Hilal Naqvi, Ashok Singh, Omkar Singh, Jeeshan Haider and Anshu Awasthi.
Saif Ali Naqvi and Tanuj Punia, son of former Congress MP Zafar Ali Naqvi and P L Punia respectively were also accommodated in the media team while Ms Suchi Biswas is the only woman in the team. Former Lucknow Municipal corporation Councillor Mukesh Singh Chauhan was also inducted in the media team.
But surprisingly, Babbar has made a separate section of Special Invitees in the media committee which has four senior most members of the media. The team is led by Virendra Madan while others are Amarnath Agarwal, Dwijendra Tripathi and Surendra Rajput. But there is a rider in this four member team that they will only work when the media team would seek their assistance.
There is also a media input team led by senior media person Subodh Srivastava.
Much hype was given on the selection criteria of the Congress member team and for the first time, a written test and interview were held to select the team.
Around 90 leaders appeared in the test in two phases which was coordinated by AICC media coordinator Rohan Gupta. But it seems that the process was just an eyewash as the selected team seems too weak to counter the BJP and other political parties in the state.
Already bickering had started with leaders alleging biased attitude by the state leadership in selecting the teammates.
A senior party leader, who was outgoing member of the media team, said on Saturday that in coming days, this new team would crash on its own weight as most of them do not know the political equation in the state and how to defend the party. Earlier, UP Congress had announced that everyone, who appeared in the exams, would be given some responsibility in the party. UNI