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Rahul calls for testosterone weekend meet in Delhi

February 13, 2013 14:38 IST

Notwithstanding the focus on women, Rahul Gandhi's scheduled interaction with state Congress leaders in New Delhi on Friday and Saturday will virtually be an all-male affair.

This is because barring Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit there is hardly any woman leader in the party who is either the Pradesh Congress Committee president or Congress Legislature Party leader in any state.

Gandhi's meeting with the PCC chiefs and CLP leaders also assumes significance as there are nine assembly elections scheduled this year and the Lok Sabha polls not far away.

The state polls include those in Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Karnataka.

Rita Bahuguna resigned as the Uttar Pradesh PCC chief last year in the wake of the debacle of the party in the assembly polls while Vidya Stokes gave way to Virbhadra Singh recently as the CLP leader after the party gained power in Himachal Pradesh.

After having completed 14 years as Delhi Chief Minister, Dikshit could have created a record in the party of having the longest tenure at the helm, especially among women leaders.

Sonia Gandhi, who has been the party chief since 1998, has also created record of having the longest stint at the helm in the 128-year old organisation, which is the oldest political party in the country.

Soon after his elevation last month as the party vice-president, Rahul has already given hints of making changes in the organisation at various levels to make it fighting fit.

In the Jaipur Declaration, adopted at the just concluded AICC meeting after a two-day Chintan Shivir, Congress has made a host of promises to improve the status and condition of women.

For security, the declaration has promised to expedite the creation of helplines in all major urban centres, exclusive transport facilities, and gender sensitivity classes for police personnel besides registering and investigating crimes against women.

The declaration also promises a larger number of scholarships for schoolgirls, earmarking 30 per cent of funds flowing into panchayats and nagarpalikas for female farm labour and cultivators, increase in participation of women in government, including in the police, at all levels through reservation

The declaration also reiterates the party’s commitment to enact a law that will reserve a third of the seats in Parliament and the State legislatures for women.

There has been no fixed agenda for Gandhi's interaction with state leaders indicating thereby that it could be a free and frank discussion aimed at toning up the functioning of the party in the states.

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