Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi calls for free and frank suggestions from AICC members to end factionalism and infighting in the Congress, reports Renu Mittal
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi is likely to revive former prime minister Indira Gandhi’s tradition of connecting directly with the party workers and meeting them on a regular basis to listen to their problems and receive feedback. He is likely to revive the janata darbar to establish a connect with the party workers.
Rahul Gandhi was responding to a complaint made by an All India Congress Committee secretary about a disconnect between leaders and the party workers. In the acrimony and the game of one-upmanship between senior leaders the workers were suffering.
Giving the example of Indira Gandhi who used to directly meet the workers, Rahul Gandhi said he was seriously considering the possibility of meeting workers directly and reviving the janata darbar.
Rahul Gandhi said Congress leaders and the party should bond like a family and there should be no ill will in its rank and file.
Rahul Gandhi wound up his three-day interaction with the AICC office bearers late on Monday evening after 14 secretaries spoke on how to strengthen the organisation. The new vice president of the Congress party appeared satisfied with the tone and tenor of the discussions and expressed a desire to have such interactions at the Pradesh Congress Committee, the zilla and block level.
Calling the Congress party’s constitution as “radical” he said it reflects the parampara (tradition) of the 127-year-old party. He said if the constitution can be implemented properly it will go a long way in helping the party.
Congress MP Jitender Singh suggested said Union ministers should sit in the party headquarters every week, at least for an hour, to connect the government and the party by giving workers a chance to meet ministers.
Hanumath Rao from Andhra Pradesh said the party should groom and create caste leaders as there was no dearth of OBC, SC and ST leaders in the party. He said it would minimise the the party’s dependence on leaders like Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mayawati. He also took on YSR Congress leader Jagan Mohan Reddy and criticised him for his corruption and his statements against the Congress. Rao has been a long time baiter of Jagan Mohan and his father former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajashekhar Reddy.
Avtar Singh Badana from Haryana took on state chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda saying he had become a power centre in the party. He told Rahul Gandhi that Hooda tried to have him defeated but he still managed to win. He said life was difficult for an ordinary MLA of Haryana if they did not support the CM unconditionally.
Over three sessions, each lasting around two-and-a-half hours, AICC office bearers interacted with Rahul Gandhi as he wanted their free and frank views on strengthening the party.
Factionalism and infighting in the Congress is seen as one of the reasons why the party has suffered from time to time with leaders working openly to defeat their rivals in the elections.
But despite the hesitancy and the fact that junior office bearers are afraid to speak openly in front of their seniors, many important issues were flagged and suggestions made. Leaders were quietly told that if they had their say, it was not necessary for them to be present at the meeting. This was to give a chance for the secretaries to speak openly and frankly.