Hit hard by defections and a sagging morale of its cadres, the Congress in West Bengal is now looking to party vice-president Rahul Gandhi to infuse life in its Lok Sabha campaign in the state.
PCC chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury has already written to Rahul Gandhi seeking time from him to organise a workers’ conference.
“We will put up the workers’ conference based on the date and time he allots us,” Chowdhury said adding all gram panchayat members and block level Congress leaders would attend the meeting.
He said the Congress supporters in Bengal “would need some words of encouragement” if they are to put their best foot forward in the general elections.
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State youth Congress chief Soumik Hossain said if Rahul “comes to Bengal, it will lift the spirits of our workers here”.
Party MP Mausam Benazir Noor said, “We need someone of the calibre of Rahul to visit and help revive the party in state.”
Rahul had last visited Kolkata on September 14, 2010.
Meanwhile, All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary C P Joshi, who met Youth Congress presidents of all states, reportedly told Soumik Hossain to ensure that the party does not lose the six Lok Sabha seats it holds. One Youth Congress leader each will be deputed in each of these parliamentary constituencies. A Youth Congress leader will be deputed in North Kolkata from where the party will be fielding Somen Mitra.
“The Youth Congress leaders who help retain or win the seats, will be awarded with tickets to contest the next assembly elections,” a party source said.
Contacted, Soumik Hossain confirmed that the incentive has been assured.
“We have also been asked to take care of the family of Abhijit Rehman, president of the Hooghly Lok Sabha Youth Congress Committee, who was recently allegdly killed by Trinamool cadres. A financial package has also been arranged for the family,” Hossain said.
The Youth Congress has been asked to launch protest programmes against the killing and accordingly, on March 5, they will gherao the Assembly or the state secretariat.