Mission UP in 2019: With an aim to bolster its media campaign committee and spokespersons panel going into the all-important Lok Sabha 2019 polls, the Congress party has opted for a stringent selection process to pick the right candidates to represent the partys views on media platforms. In possibly a first in Uttar Pradesh, the Congress party conducted a written test in Lucknow on Thursday with 70 aspirants fighting to become party spokespersons in the politically crucial state. The interview was organised by Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC), days after the Congress in Uttar Pradesh dissolved its key teams, including those looking after media and organisational matters, and set up an interim panel. Party According to a News18 report, the process came as a surprise to candidates as they were totally unaware of the party conducting a test to select the candidates. Chaturvedi, who often defends Rahul Gandhi and criticise BJPs policies, said the process is not new to the Congress and has taken place in AICC before. She, however, said such a test is a first for Uttar Pradesh. She asserted that questions were not that difficult but basic ones and a spokesperson should have an idea of answers to these questions. A look at the set of questions reveals that the queries circled around UP, national politics and key aspects of being a spokesperson. Here is a part of the questionnaire put to candidates for the test: – How many blocks and zones are there in Uttar Pradesh? – How many seats are reserved in UP in Lok Sabha elections? – How many seats did Congress win in 2004 and 2009? – What was the percentage of vote share that Congress got in 2014 Lok Sabha and 2017 Assembly elections? – How many Lok Sabha and Assembly seats are in UP? – In UP, how many Assembly seats make one Lok Sabha seat? Besides, the candidates were also asked about the key points of failure of Yogi Adityanath government as well as the achievements of the Manmohan Singh government. Other questions included the three main headlines on which Congress spokespersons can issue statements and why they want to become a spokesperson. According to Election Commission, there are 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh and in 2014, BJP managed to sweep the state which propelled the saffron party to become the ruling dispensation in the Centre. Congress is eyeing to score a maximum from this politically crucial state next year. Both Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi contest Lok Sabha election from Amethi and Rae Bareli, considered as the Congress bastion. A strong media team in the state will help Congress in connecting with mass and blunt prominent BJP campaigners like Yogi Adityanath and Rajnath Singh.