Continuing his dialogue with the party rank and file in Madhya Pradesh, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday told them that five factional leaders of the party cannot decide the fate of 7.5 crore people of the state.
“Digvijay Singh is AICC general secretary and Kamal Nath is a minister, but you are (the people) on the streets. Please unite in spite of factionalism in your own interest, the interest of the party and of the people,” he told delegates from the Bhopal Lok Sabha constituency while interacting with them at Manas Bhavan in the city.
Gandhi had similar interactions with party delegates from 14 constituencies at Mohankheda in Dhar on Wednesday and met delegates from the remaining 15 Lok Sabha constituencies in Bhopal on Thursday.
He was apprised by party workers at Mohankheda that there are five major factions in the party in MP and factionalism was the biggest impediment to the Congress from coming back to power. It was in this context that Gandhi referred to the five leaders while encouraging party workers to unite despite factionalism.
Gandhi said that he opposed “parachute-dropping” of leaders from Delhi, adding that tickets for the state assembly election should be decided in Bhopal and not in Delhi. “District Congress presidents and block Congress presidents should have greater say in ticket distribution,” he said.
At Mohankheda, Gandhi declared that party tickets for the November assembly elections would be declared by August so as to give candidates enough time to prepare for the polls.
The Gandhi scion’s interaction with the party rank-and-file in Madhya Pradesh - a state largely ignored by the party high command in the electoral scheme of things - has come as a pleasant surprise to party cadres.
They told the Congress vice-president that if he gave them even 25% of the time he spent in UP during the last assembly election, then one one could stop the party from coming back to power in Madhya Pradesh.