Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi wants his party to extract maximum political advantage out of the drought situation.
He asked chief minister and state party organisation to do relief work better, and assured them all help from the Centre in mitigating problems caused by this natural calamity.
Gandhi met chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, state party president Manikrao Thakre, state party affairs in-charge Mohan Prakash, political secretary to party president (Sonia Gandhi), Ahmed Patel and national spokesperson Janardan Dwivedi on Thursday night. The meeting lasted 150 minutes.
Rahul also discussed with them matters related to the party and government and relations with its alliance partner Nationalist Congress Party.
“Satisfied with the work being done in the 15 drought-affected districts in western, northern and central Maharashtra and Vidarbha, Rahul felt we need to go the extra mile. He wants us to reach out to the people with good work so that they recognise our efforts in next year’s polls,” said one of the leaders, who attended the meeting, requesting anonymity.
The party is worried that NCP might try to gain advantage in drought-affected areas.
“NCP boss Sharad Pawar has been visiting these areas time and again. He and his party do not spare any opportunity to project themselves as saviours,” the leader said.
“Pawar has a natural advantage of being chief of group of ministers that takes decisions on granting calamity relief money to the states,” the leader added.