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Thursday, July 19, 2018

Rahul meets state leaders, says unity key

Sources said delegates from J&K felt the party should end its alliance with National Conference and fight polls alone.

New Delhi | Published: January 19, 2014 12:44:57 am

After being named leader of the Congress campaign for 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Rahul Gandhi Saturday got down to gauge the enormity of the challenge at his hands. The Congress vice-president held consultations with AICC delegates from various states. Although there were no radical suggestions, sources said he indicated alliances would not be forged out of political compulsion but keeping the interests of the party in mind.
His central message, sources said, was to end infighting and keep welfare initiatives of the UPA government the central theme of the poll campaign. He is learnt to have told delegates from Madhya Pradesh that he knows infighting among senior leaders was among the reasons for the defeat in the Assembly elections.
“We must fight with unity, focusing on the strengths of our party and the good work we have done over the last 10 years,” he said. Emphasising the need for unity, Rahul, sources said, told a Haryana delegate, who highlighted the achievements of the Bhupinder Singh Hooda government, that good work was not enough to win elections, and cited the instance of Delhi.
While leaders from Tamil Nadu asked Rahul to keep the state unit in the know when taking a call on the alliance, he told Bihar delegates the party was willing to go alone if it did not get a fair deal in seat-sharing. Sources said delegates from J&K felt the party should end its alliance with National Conference and fight polls alone. There was also criticism of the party’s decision to enter into an alliance with Shibu Soren’s JMM in Jharkhand.
Sources said there were demands that Rahul go on a road show as was done by Sonia Gandhi in 2004.
The Congress, meanwhile, inducted young faces Jyotiraditya Scindia and Randip Surjewala along with veteran Ghulam Nabi Azad into the Election Coordination Committee headed by Rahul.

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