Rahul chides sycophants, asks them to work for party
The open infighting that he witnessed at the two-day brainstorming session with the State Congress leaders riled Rahul Gandhi enough for him to tell them that strict action will take against those found sabotaging the party’s interest and for unnecessarily naming him as the party’s PM candidate.
On Saturday, it’s learnt that Rahul lost his cool when Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna proposed that the Congress declare their new vice president as the party’s PM candidate for the 2014 general elections and the rest greeted the suggestion with applause. “I do not want to hear such a thing again,’’ an angry Rahul’s said to have retorted, adding that the issue is not ‘who’s going to be the PM candidate’ but to ‘how the party organisation can be strengthened’.
“We already have Prime Minister in Manmohan Singh,’’ he’s learnt to have told the State leaders gathered at the Congress war-room at Gurdwara Rakabganj Road. In the same manner, Rahul took a dig at the party leaders aspiring to be chief ministerial candidates in various states, saying, “there were 200 CM candidates in Uttar Pradesh, but not enough hands to work for the organisation. There were even candidates for the UN Secretary General there.’’
Nonetheless, sycophancy is so inherent in the party that the leaders refused to take cue from his digs at them. Janardhan Dwivedi, a general secretary of the party, while briefing the media after the meeting, said it was “unnecessary” of Bahuguna to say what he did as “Rahul Gandhi is the leader of the party for the future.’’
For Rahul who first had the AICC office-bearers get at each other throat at the last round of meeting and then had PCC chiefs having slanging matches with their Congress chief ministers in this round, it proved to be a bit too much. He told the Congress leaders that he has taken notes on all the points that they have raised and the goals they have set for themselves, so that he can do a review meeting three months later to check what has been achieved.
He, apparently, told them that strict records will maintained for promotions within the party, those who lag behind in party work will be made answerable. He said that the Congress leaders cannot surface only during the elections and not do anything for the betterment of the organisation and get party benefits.
What seems have riled Rahul most was the manner in which the PCCs and the CLP leaders spoke at cross-purposes. If Delhi PCC chief J P Agarwal lit into Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit for ignoring him and Dikshit retaliated by accusing Agarwal of sabotaging the party during the local body elections, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Kiran Reddy and PCC chief Botsa Satyanarayan took totally opposite positions on the Telangana issue.
While Kiran Reddy was of the view that the Congress can crest the current crisis in his State without bifurcating it, the PCC chief said some decision on the issue has to be taken immediately, otherwise the party will see most of its members leaving for Jagan Mohan Reddy’s outfit. To complicate matters further, Kiran Reddy was supported by his Maharashtra counterpart Prithviraj Chauhan who said Telangana would have cascading effect as he would then face demand for Vidharbha.