CHANDIGARH: In a bid to revitalise the party organisation and gear it up to fight the SAD-BJP alliance in Punjab, party vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday announced a “Save Punjab” campaign to eradicate the drug menace from the state. Referring to the “tsunami of people’s anger sweeping across the state”, he expressed hope that no one could defeat a united Congress in the Assembly elections due in 2017.
While elaborating on the door-to-door anti-drugs campaign, Rahul said party volunteers would be trained to educate the people about the drug menace in two years beginning from November 14, when the campaign would kickstart.
In the first phase, this campaign would be launched in five Assembly constituencies -- Majitha, Qadian, Ghanaur, Chabewal and Ludhiana Urban.
Rahul said the drug menace was eating into the vital organs of “this once-progressive state” and blamed the situation on the “mismanagement, non-governance and open loot” by the SAD Government. He also said the party would move the Supreme Court seeking a CBI probe into the smuggling of drugs.
His emphasis, however, was on strengthening the party at the grassroots. He said the criterion for the allotment of election tickets would be party work.
The Gandhi scion asked his party workers to set up 11-member committees for each of the about 19,000 booths in a month’s time. This would involve mobilising more than two lakh party workers, he added.
Rahul’s efforts to revive the Congress in the border state got underway with his interactions with the party’s block and district presidents, MPs, MLAs, Pradesh Congress Committee members and other senior leaders.
He also held a meeting with the party’s farmers’ wing and a delegation of the Bharatiya Kisan Union led by Bhupinder Singh Mann, who briefed him on the problems faced by the peasantry in the state. Congress general secretary Ambika Soni, secretary Harish Chaudhary, state chief Partap Singh Bajwa, Deputy Leader in the Lok Sabha Captain Amarinder Singh, former Chief Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, former state presidents H S Hanspal, Shamsher Singh Dullo, Mohinder Singh Kaypee and Virender Kataria, and Santokh Singh MP were also present at the meeting.