Updated: September 17, 2021 5:30:40 am
Days after taking over as Jharkhand Pradesh Congress Committee president, Rajesh Thakur has laid out a plan to revamp the rift-riddled state unit and take stock of the work being done by Congress ministers.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Thakur, who took over JPCC’s reins from Rameshwar Oraon earlier this month, has said his priority will be to promote the work done by the government – Congress is part of the ruling alliance with the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM).
“Somewhere, the government has not been able to percolate its work to the masses. Some of the key portfolios, like Rural Development, Food, Finance and Health are with Congress and in the days to come, we will do an analysis of their work and tell ground level workers to propagate it to the masses…More importantly, is there work being done as promised in the manifesto or not? The leadership in Delhi too will know the work done in the state,” said Thakur.
Thakur, 48, does not have a political lineage and has not contested an election so far. “Despite this, the leadership experimented with me and I will work hard to make Congress a force to reckon with in the state,” he said.
However, the biggest challenge facing Thakur is party infighting. JPCC was hit by internal bickering after the 2019 Lok Sabha debacle with many leaders openly criticising former JPCC chief Ajoy Kumar, who had written a scathing letter against senior leaders including Oraon, stating that they only sought to “grab political posts for personal benefits”.
After Oraon was made the PCC chief, Jharkhand Congress won 16 seats in 2019 Assembly election in which Congress-JMM formed the government, however, in February a confrontation erupted in the Congress Office in Ranchi between two factions sparking a fresh debate on unity among workers.
Speaking on these challenges, Thakur said: “There is a vision that is in sync with the party and when the members will see that I have kept myself away from favoritism, they will be glued towards the party, and not personalities. I just need to set a trend and execute it well.”
He hopes to give direction to the party workers and boost coordination with alliance partner JMM through a 20-point programme that the government is expected to launch shortly.
“Through this, we will give the workers some sort of purpose. This will also help us maintain some coordination with the JMM government as well,” he said.
Thakur’s political foray began with his entry into NSUI in 1990 while he was studying at Delhi University. He later joined the Indian Youth Congress in Delhi. However, he returned to his hometown Bokaro – then in undivided Bihar in 1996. In 2004, he was appointed personal secretary to then Governor Syed Sibtey Razi. He has been in the JPCC since 2013.
Another big challenge in front of Thakur is indiscipline among party members. In the past, several instances have drawn the ire of the opposition. Some of these incidents include: Workers in a district allegedly threw chairs in anger in front of then PCC chief Rameshwar Oraon; footage of a woman dancing on a stage set for farm protest in Saraikela district; former MP Furkaan Ansari’s comment against Jharkhand in-charge RPN Singh.
Thakur also plans to launch a donation campaign among gthe party workers.“In the year 1885, the party was formed. So I am planning that workers, including MLAs and ministers, should contribute Rs 1,885 in a frequency as per their capacity. This will help the party to delve into many activities.”
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