Tiwari goes as Congress house leader, Mathur in
Lucknow, June 6 (IANS) The Congress Wednesday removed nine-time legislator Pramod Tiwari as the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader in the Uttar Pradesh assembly and replaced him with Pradeep Mathur.
"Congress president Sonia Gandhi has nominated Mathur to be the leader of the CLP with immediate effect," party general secretary Janardan Dwivedi announced in New Delhi.
The move is seen by party leaders in the state as a 'clean up' drive initiated at the behest of Congress general secretary and Amethi MP Rahul Gandhi.
Rahul Gandhi, after the debacle in the assembly polls, held wide-ranging deliberations with party workers and leaders from the state on the reasons for the drubbing.
Even as he hinted at a shake up, none thought that long-standing party leader Tiwari would face the boot.
"It is shocking, rather scary as I am sure a lot of such things are going to follow," a party leader confided to IANS.
Mathur, an old Congress hand, is a legislator from Mathura-Vrindavan seat and is a lawyer by profession.
A father of three (a son and two daughters, all doctors by profession), Mathur is a "tested soldier" of the party and first became a legislator in 1985.
Before his elevation as the CLP leader, he was the deputy leader. His modesty and connect with the grassroot level workers, party seniors said, turned the tide in his favour, upseting calculations of the likes of Rita Bahuguna Joshi and Anugrah Narayan Singh.
Although known for his 'connect' across party lines and with almost all leaders in the state, Tiwari was often accused of being too close to the Samajwadi Party leadership and the Sahara India Parivaar.
Despite his suave image and the tag of proximity with the Gandhi family, some in the party say he was being tolerated for years as the party didn't have too many known faces and tried hands in the state.
Tiwari, who has nine straight wins from Rampur Khas constituency in Pratapgarh district, never left the Congress at its worst times.
But critics say he failed to deliver because he banks on the Gandhi charisma more than the party organization, even if it is fractured now in Uttar Pradesh.
The party leadership is likely to announce more changes soon, informed sources say.
Despite a relentless and high-voltage campaign by Rahul Gandhi, the party won just 28 seats in the 403 member Uttar Pradesh house this year.
(Mohit Dubey can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Read More: Rajiv Gandhi | Sonia Gandhi | Mukesh Chandra Mathur | Gandhi Chowk Baraut | Gandhi Colony | Rampur Mathura | Gandhi Chowk Rudarpur | Parsa Tiwari | Tiwari Bazar | Tiwari Gaon | Tarkulwa Tiwari | Piparpati Tiwari | Sohrauna Tiwari | Saraya Tiwari | Baurdih Tiwari | Bhathwa Tiwari | Mathur | Mathur-nid | Mathur-ayp | Mathur Ind. Estate
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