Rahul Gandhi kick starts Congress party’s functioning with an eye on polls

By Martin De Souza – GNN

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi is all set to tone up the functioning of the Congress party doing away with the old system of one-line resolutions from states authorizing the high command to decide candidates in the elections. Sources in the central Congress war-room say that Rahul is taking keen interest in the functioning of the Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) and some drastic announcements are likely.

Congress sources said Rahul, who has called a meeting of PCC presidents and CLP leaders in Delhi on February 15, could instead ask for elaborate procedures to make ticket distribution a foolproof affair.

This will be the first meeting Rahul will have with state leaders after his elevation as the Congress vice-president. He has often lamented the absence of rules and regulations governing the organization and the ticket distribution process. Apparently, Churchhill Alemao has already sent feelers to the Congress Vice President that he is keen on contesting the Lok Sabha polls from south Goa.

Consultations by the Congress vice-president are expected to be a day-long affair at a time when party men have been increasingly voicing concern over the ticket distribution process. The meeting assumes significance as Assembly elections of nine states, including Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Delhi, are scheduled this year and the Lok Sabha elections are not far away.

As part of the efforts to build up a new leadership at various levels, the AICC has already decided that the number of terms for presidents of the PCC and DCC should be restricted to two and the tenure of each term should be not more than three years.

Rahul is expected to apprise himself with the various problems being faced by the party in different states to help understand the steps needed to tone up the organisations there.

Soon after being made the Vice-President, he has held three rounds of consultations with AICC office bearers.

Though Congress is in power in a dozen odd states, Andhra Pradesh is the only major state where it has a government on its own. Problems have cropped up there due to the Telangana issue and emergence of the YSR Congress.

Congress is out of power for several years in major states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu – a cause for concern for the new Vice President.

Two new “Non Congress” voices are being considered for the post of spokesperson of the grand old party. Tehseen Poonawalla and Sanjay Jha are the two names doing the rounds. Both Tehseen and Sanjay are seen on prime time news toeing the Congress line. While Poonawalla a Muslim face is in his late 20s who connects with the youth, Sanjay’s experience in running the portal Hamara Congress as well as his business connections may make him attractive to the business community. The think tank in the Congress feels that the party has in recent times not been able to reflect the sentiments of the young and business class who seem to be disillusioned with the party. A little birdie told us that both Poonawalla and Jha are extensively consulting the Congress leadership on how to position itself online and on the social media.



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