BENGALURU: Seeking to rejuvenate the grand old Congress party across the country, AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Monday declared that the party would give tickets in the next assembly election in Karnataka to only those who work for the party at the grassroots level and have strong mass connect.
Addressing the KPCC general body meeting organised as part of party’s preparations for the 2018 Assembly election here on Monday, Rahul made it clear that the days of “helicopter system of giving tickets” were over. Which effectively means an end to the system of doling out tickets to those who are ‘well connected’ or come with moneybags but lack mass appeal.
Ministers, legislators and even those who consider themselves as big leaders in the party cannot afford to be complacent, Rahul warned.
“Whether someone is a big leader or a humble party worker, tickets will be given only if the aspirant is working for the party at the grassroots level, has been actively involved in propagating the achievements of the Siddaramaiah government to the masses,” he said.Rahul wanted ministers and party legislators to actively participate in the legislature proceedings, reach out to the masses to spread awareness about “the good work done by the Siddaramaiah government, work hard to ensure the victory of Congress in the next assembly election,” if they wanted to get a ticket in the next election.
Disappointment for defectors
Rahul’s strong stand on distribution of tickets could dash the hopes of rebel JD(S) MLAs - Zameer Ahmed Khan, Cheluvaraya Swamy, Iqbal Ansari, Balakrishna, Ramesh Bandisiddegowda, Bheema
Nayak and Akhanda Srinivas Murthy - to contest the next assembly election as Congress candidates.
Rahul in his address conveyed his decision not to give tickets for those who defect to the Congress at the last moment hoping for a ticket.
Praise for Siddu govt, zero marks for Modi
Rahul was full praise for the Siddaramaiah government. Comparing its performance with the Modi government at the Centre, Rahul said, “The Karnataka government is doing a good job with focus on the poor and welfare of farmers.”
Rahul then accused Modi of trying to mislead the people with rosy speeches without delivering on his promises. “I give zero marks for the Modi government in employment generation,” he said.
Modi had promised to generate 2 crore jobs annually if he came to power, but managed to add just one lakh jobs last year,” Rahul added.He said that Modi’s ambitious programmes like Make in India, Startup India, Swachh Bharath have remained mere marketing slogans without any progress on the ground.
Rahul condemns comment on Army Chief
All India Congress Committee vice president Rahul Gandhi has disapproved his party leader Sandeep Dikshit’s comments against Army Chief General Bipin Rawat. “Politicians should not comment about the Army Chief. The army is engaged in defending the nation. Comments against the Army Chief are uncalled for,” Rahul said expressing his displeasure at Dikshit, who had said that General Rawat should not make comments like a ‘Sadak ka Gunda’(a street thug). Dikshit who made the shocking comment on Sunday later withdrew his statement made on Rawat and tendered an apology. “I genuinely believe what I said was wrong. So I apologise for it and withdraw my statement,” Dikshit said.