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Saturday, Oct 19, 2019

Cong secretaries, left out of crucial meet with Sonia Gandhi, demand answers

In a meeting with party general secretary organisation KC Venugopal on Friday, the young leaders asked him if there was any possibility of a meeting with the party president in the near future.

india Updated: Sep 14, 2019 12:20 IST
Amrita Madhukalya
Amrita Madhukalya
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, Congress General Secretary KC Venugopal, Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and senior Congress leader AK Antony during a high-level party meeting, at All India Congress Committee (AICC) headquarters in New Delhi on Thursday.
Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, Congress General Secretary KC Venugopal, Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and senior Congress leader AK Antony during a high-level party meeting, at All India Congress Committee (AICC) headquarters in New Delhi on Thursday.(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)
         

Congress’ secretaries have lamented that they were left out of Thursday’s crucial organisational meet with interim president Sonia Gandhi. In a meeting with party general secretary organisation KC Venugopal on Friday, the young leaders asked him if there was any possibility of a meeting with the party president in the near future.

Venugopal had called for the meeting of the secretaries to listen to their individual inputs and to rope in their help to carry out the decisions of Thursday’s big meet. During that meet, Gandhi met the party’s general secretaries, chief ministers, state unit presidents, and CLP leaders in a bid to firm up the party’s organisational structure and its narrative as the principal Opposition.

A secretary assigned with a South Indian state where the party has had a dismal performance in the last few years was one of the first to ask the general secretary why were they not included in the meeting. Another secretary assigned with a Congress-ruled state said that the meeting with secretaries should have been held a day before the big meet, as they are the field workers spending over 20 days in a month in assigned states.

Another secretary, also assigned a South Indian state where the party’s structure is in doldrums currently, said that the party’s narrative for the economic slowdown should be a simple one so that the masses find a resonance. The same secretary said that Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu, which accounts for 42% of Lok Sabha seats and where half the population is made up of scheduled castes, should be given special status within the party so that special emphasis could be given here in the next four years.

Those present in the meeting said that Venugopal assured to them that their voice will be heard within the party and that they will be part of the decision-making process.

In the last few months, secretaries have aired their inhibitions that they will be sidelined after Rahul Gandhi stepped down as the party president. He had brought visibility to the role by engaging young politicians.

First Published: Sep 14, 2019 11:15 IST

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