Chhattisgarh Congress leaders hope Rahul will spark resurgence | india | Hindustan Times
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Chhattisgarh Congress leaders hope Rahul will spark resurgence

india Updated: Aug 20, 2009 17:12 IST

Congress workers battling for a resurgence in Chhattisgarh are expecting some useful tips from party general secretary Rahul Gandhi Friday at a special session in Raipur.

Gandhi, who was instrumental in the Congress resurgence in Uttar Pradesh in April-May Lok Sabha polls, will spend time with Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) delegates, office-bearers, district presidents and heads of various party cells such as National Student Union of India (NSUI) and Youth Congress, to inject life in the party's state unit.

"Rahul's hour-long interaction with party leaders Friday morning will mainly focus how to inject fresh life in party in the state where Congress has witnessed repeated shocking defeats since November 2003 and also how the state has now turned a safe fort for state's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)," a senior Congress leader told IANS.

Presently, Chhattisgarh Congress is divided into at least five groups and internal rivalry is being considered the prime reason for the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) rise in a state that was dubbed a Congress citadel till late 2003.

After the November 2003 assembly polls, the BJP formed the government defeating the Ajit Jogi-led Congress and in 2004 Lok Sabha polls it won 10 of state's 11 seats.

In the 2008 assembly polls, the BJP easily retained power and demonstrated its hold again this year in Lok Sabha polls, winning 10 seats once more.

"None can deny the basic fact that top leadership of the Chhattisgarh Congress is mired in bitter infighting and rivalry, now only a young leadership can change the party's fortune," a Congress district unit chief remarked.

Vani Rao, president, PCC Women Cell, stated: "Rahul Gandhi is an icon of youth in the party; youth force will bring the party back to power, we will urge Gandhi to guide us to bring the Congress-dominance era back in Chhattisgarh."

Gandhi will be arriving Thursday evening at the state's southern town Jagdalpur on a two-day Chhattisgarh visit, mainly to interact with NSUI students. He will meet NSUI cadres at Jagdalpur late evening and at Raipur, Bilaspur and Korba the next day.

He will have a separate meeting Friday with state Congress leaders on the outskirts of capital Raipur to plot the party's resurgence. Over 800 policemen would be deployed to ensure security arrangements of the Congress leader who will spend Thursday night in Raipur.