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Focus on clean candidates, says Sam Pitroda

Saubhadra Chatterji, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, January 15, 2014
First Published: 00:55 IST(15/1/2014) | Last Updated: 01:12 IST(15/1/2014)

Key advisor to Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, Sam Pitroda said the party has “failed to communicate with the people on its achievement” and that the young leader will be heavily focusing on reaching out to the aam aadmi (common man) and selection of “clean” candidates as he makes his first attempt to spearhead the party’s Lok Sabha campaign.

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In his speech at the All India Congress Committee (AICC) meeting on January 17, Gandhi is likely to outline his plans on these issues among other things, said sources. The AICC meet would be the last such event before the Congress starts its 2014 campaign.

“I think Rahul is focusing on three areas—to improve the party’s communication which is a big challenge, to select at least 300 candidates who are young, really good with clean image. He is also preparing the final strategy of the campaign,” technocrat Sam Pitroda, a close family friend of the Gandhis, told the Hindustan Times.

Pitroda, who is also the chairman of the National Innovation Council, admitted: “The Congress clearly has failed to communicate with the people on its achievements. For eight years we gave over 8% average economic growth, transformed education but the message is lost.”

Other sources close to Gandhi added that the party, after roping in Nandan Nilekani as a candidate—is talking to some eminent personalities to accept party tickets.

At least four eminent people, from non-political background may appear as Congress candidates.

Sources said, Gandhi’s AICC speech may also dwell on internal reforms of the party while avoiding any aggressive attack on rivals, especially BJP’s Narendra Modi.

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