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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014

Ending factionalism in MP before polls daunting task for Congress

PTI  Bhopal, April 26, 2013
First Published: 12:33 IST(26/4/2013) | Last Updated: 12:34 IST(26/4/2013)

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi's recent Madhya Pradesh visit provided the much-needed impetus to Congressmen in the state but containing groupism and declaring party tickets by July will be a daunting task for the faction-ridden outfit, party sources said.

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As part of energising Congress workers in the state where assembly elections are due in November, Gandhi visited Mohankheda and Bhopal to interact with party leaders and workers to have a feel of the party nerve.

He began his visit from the famous Jain pilgrimage spot Mohankheda, on the border of tribal-dominated Dhar-Jhabua district, and sought the blessings of noted saint Rishabh Chandra Vijayji Maharaj.

Addressing Congressmen, Gandhi admitted that groupism is a problem plaguing the party and senior leaders have to bury their differences to ensure the party's victory in the crucial 2013 assembly polls, party sources said on Friday.

"While Rahul was harping on unity among party leaders at the top level, the bonhomie was missing among those present at the spot," they said.

There are four major leaders in the state -- Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh, Union minister for parliamentary affairs Kamal Nath, Union minister of state for power (independent charge) Jyotiraditya Scindia and former Union minister Suresh Pachouri.

The supporters of Scindia were quite vocal at both Mohankheda and also at Bhopal demanding to project him as the chief ministerial candidate, the sources said.

The party workers specially highlighted the prevailing groupism in the party and urged him to address the problem at the earliest.

Addressing workers, Gandhi asked party men to forget Congress' defeat in 2003 and 2008 assembly elections and devote themselves with full determination and vigour to ensure party's victory in 2013.

"The next assembly election in Madhya Pradesh is a big challenge for every Congressman," Rahul said.

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