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HindustanTimes Wed,17 Sep 2014

Respect the rulebook to strengthen Cong: Rahul

Aurangzeb Naqshbandi, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, February 04, 2013
First Published: 22:32 IST(4/2/2013) | Last Updated: 01:24 IST(5/2/2013)

Even as Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi emphasised on Monday that party constitution and discipline are the basic fundamentals of a strong organisation, some members suggested that the Seva Dal be invigorated to counter the RSS.

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Wrapping up his first formal interaction with office bearers, which went on for three days, Rahul described the Congress constitution as a "radical document". He also stressed that its provisions should be implemented properly.

The call to go by the rulebook followed his repeated assertions that the Congress party lacked rules and regulations, and needed to function as per a certain system. During the recent three-day Jaipur conclave, Rahul had consistently spoken about the absence of even a single rule or regulation in the party, despite being the largest political organisation in the world. "It is an interesting organisation… Nobody knows the rules," he had said.

Intervening in the discussions, Rahul said the Congress has been founded on a foundation set by leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi, and the party constitution was a reflection of that very knowledge and understanding. Rahul also asked the functionaries to focus on "emotional unity" because the party had floundered many opportunities in the past for want of discipline.

As many as 14 secretaries spoke on the third day, but they were strictly instructed not to divulge details of the closed-door discussions.

Vinay Kumar Sorake from Karnataka raised the issue of how the BJP was galvanizing the RSS cadre ahead of this year's crucial assembly elections in the state. Members called for instilling new life into the Seva Dal, so it could counter the RSS.

Jitendra Singh said each Union minister should be asked to spend a day in the party headquarters to interact with functionaries and workers.

Leader V Hanumantha Rao, for his part, said the Congress should produce its own caste leaders and not be dependant on the likes of Mayawati and Mulayam Singh Yadav.


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