M A I N   N E W S

Rahul peps up HP cadre ahead of Assembly elections
Kuldeep Chauhan/TNS

Kullu, July 2
All-India Congress Committee general secretary Rahul Gandhi today said the party would devise a mechanism not only to “decentralise power when it forms the government, but also within the party down to the grassroots level, where each party worker has a say and respect”.

Rahul got a rousing reception from Congress workers and senior party leaders. He held two closed-door interactive sessions with block and district presidents and NSUI representatives. Later, he addressed party delegates representing 68 constituencies in the state.

Rahul came here with Union Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma and MP Minakshi Natarajan to inspire and energise the party cadre ahead of Assembly elections in the state. He was welcomed at the airport by senior party leaders Virbhadra Singh, Vidya Stokes, Kaul Singh Thakur, GS Bali and party in charge Birender Chaudhary and Anees Ahmad and others.

Addressing party delegates, he said senior leaders should sit together and allot party ticket to candidates having wide support base. Such decisions should be taken after consulting block and district presidents and grassroots workers, he added. “No parachuters should be allowed. If we ignored this, we would be sitting more in the opposition than in power,” he warned state party leaders.

He said the BJP would try to take advantage of corruption and inflation as it was in power in the state. The Congress would have to fight it out as a team, he added.

He said the Congress had been losing in the state because of infighting. “We are in the opposition in Himachal Pradesh because of this (infighting) and will continue to be so, if we do not unite against the BJP,” he cautioned.

Before this, he said, “The Congress would delegate power to each minister and they would have an independent say in Chief Minister’s cabinet,” thus hinting at accommodating “other aspirants”, if the Congress forms the government in the state.

He was upset to see poor representation of women in block and district Congress committees as only three women presidents were present. He asked the pradesh Congress committee to give 40 per cent representation to women in the party.

He told senior leaders to devise mechanism for decentralisation of power so that the AICC wouldn’t have to see a line of ticket seekers in Delhi, said insiders.

Block Congress committee president Balh Kuldip Thakur told Rahul that the party fund should come down the block level. Rahul Gandhi said the party would consider the suggestion.

His Mantra

  • Rahul promises to decentralise power whenever the Congress forms a government in the state
  • Says no parachuters to be allowed in the state hierarchy
  • Blames infighting for the party’s poor performance in the state
  • Declares each minister will have independent say in the state Cabinet
  • Advocates 40% representation to women in the party

CM aspirants

While addressing block and district presidents, AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi wanted to know how many of them aspired to become the Chief Minister of the state. According to insiders, only Shimla District Congresss Committee president Kehar Singh Khachi raised his hand in response, saying one should become the CM. However, Rahul said he wanted that every every district president should aspire for the post.





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