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HindustanTimes Thu,31 Jul 2014

Rahul Gandhi likely to tour four poll-bound states

Saubhadra Chatterji, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, January 31, 2013
First Published: 00:04 IST(31/1/2013) | Last Updated: 08:12 IST(31/1/2013)

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi is likely to embark on a special tour to four election-bound states as part of his renewed plan to connect with the local party leaderships across India.

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Top Congress sources indicated that the young Gandhi would kick-start the tour from Rajasthan in February.

While his long-term agenda pertains to rejuvenation of the party organisation, the immediate electoral challenges also require his attention — especially after his elevation to the second-in-command of the Congress.

Apart from Rajasthan, he will also travel to Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Karnataka over the next two months.

While elections in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh are due to happen towards the end of the year, Karnataka — where the BJP is facing internal rebellion — is slated to face polls in mid-2014.

Gandhi, according to sources, may prefer going to districts like Barmer (Rajasthan) or Kanker (Chhattisgarh) rather than meet leaders at state capitals. In his address at the Jaipur conclave, Gandhi had emphasised on promoting local leadership in different states.

In his new role, Gandhi has also increased the pace of his interaction with central government leaders.

Meanwhile, Gandhi will hold a meeting with AICC office-bearers on Thursday, his first formal interaction after taking over as party vice president more than a week ago.

The closed-door meeting will be attended by over 50 office-bearers of the party, including AICC general secretaries, AICC secretaries, in-charges of states and chiefs of all the frontal wings of the party — including Youth Congress, NSUI, Mahila Congress and Seva Dal.

The meeting is significant since this will be the first formal interaction of Gandhi with party leaders after he was appointed as Congress vice president during its two-day ‘chintan shivir’ in Jaipur on January 19.

Back then, he had said: “Congress is the best instrument to change things. It is the best instrument to bring youngsters into politics.”

(With PTI inputs)


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