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Challenge lies within UP Congress: Rahul

Rahul Gandhi has admitted to inadequacies in the Uttar Pradesh Congress, saying the problem lies within, reports Venugopal Pillai.

lucknow Updated: Nov 13, 2007 03:25 IST
Venugopal Pillai
Venugopal Pillai

Rahul Gandhi has admitted to inadequacies in the Uttar Pradesh Congress, saying the problem lies within.“Our opposition is our inability to represent the people and connect with them.... The rest of the political parties are not our opposition,” he told mediapersons after the party’s coordination committee meeting. “We have been out of power in Uttar Pradesh for the last 18 years, there could be lacunae in the party.”

In his opening remarks, Rahul told journalists, "You people say I don't know how to speak. Now let me show you how I speak."

The Congress general secretary was on a visit to Nehru Bhawan on Monday, the headquarters of the state Congress Committee.

“The Congress has so far failed to attract the youth in Uttar Pradesh, therefore, we are now focusing on our objective of rebuilding the party on the strength of the youth,” he said.

On the BSP making inroads into the Congress’s traditional votebank, Rahul retorted he does not believe in votebank politics, and added that the only fear is of the party’s inability to represent the larger section of the people in Uttar Pradesh. On the position of SP and the BSP, he replied: “We don’t look at other parties, we look at our party.”

“There are shortcomings in the organisation like record keeping and details on how people are admitted into the party… From filling an entry form to the lack of strength of the younger lot are dogging the party, but efforts are being taken to rectify these,” said the AICC general secretary.

Rahul also denied reports that he wanted to stop the use of khadi, which would be a pre-requisite for party membership. On sycophancy in the party, Rahul said he preferred looking at it the other way. “Instead, I would see it as every worker's accountability towards the party and the people.”

State party president Rita Bahuguna Joshi and AICC general secretary in charge for the state Digvijay Singh were also present at the press conference.

First Published: Nov 13, 2007 03:20 IST