Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Friday delivered an unambiguous message to five Chief Ministers from the party, asking them to take respective state party units into confidence and work in tandem to implement commitments made in the manifesto.
Sonia’s message was blunt — the party and the government should not pull in different directions and workers should be made to feel that they have a stake in the government.
At a nearly three-hour meeting of Chief Ministers, state presidents and AICC in-charges of five Congress-ruled states, Sonia told the Chief Ministers to “assign duties on regular basis to ministers on roster basis to sit in PCC Offices to address public grievance”.
“We discussed that Congress governments should pay greater attention on how to increase the involvement of the workers who had toiled hard to bring the party to power…that they are given due respect…it was also discussed that there should be greater balance between government and the organisation….,” Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot said after the meeting.
All Chief Ministers explained in detail the steps being taken by their governments. Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, sources said, gave a lowdown on the law and order situation. Pilot, also the state Congress president, had earlier this week said law and order in the state is a matter of concern. Sonia advised Gehlot to pay greater attention to the matter. She had earlier asked him and Pilot to work in coordination and avoid public comments.
Mechanisms like coordination committees will be set up in Punjab, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Puducherry to ensure cohesion between government and organisation, sources said. “She was concerned about the manifesto promises…whether they are being implemented, how they are being monitored,” a leader who attended the meeting said.
Sources said AICC general secretary in-charge of Madhya Pradesh Deepak Babaria listed out several shortcomings of the Kamal Nath government.
Sonia asked the chief ministers to explain steps their governments had taken or can take to soften the impact of the economic slowdown. “My take from the meeting was that we all thought she would be an easy-going president…and have somebody else helm the party soon….but it seems she means business,” one of the leaders said.
“…Congress President emphasised that the alternate governance model, which is people-centric and inclusive, put forth by these states coupled with national agitational endeavour of the party, were the most effective way to deal with and defeat Bjp’s anti-people governments ,” a statement by the party said.