His ‘magic’ may not have worked in Uttar Pradesh, but that hasn’t stopped the Gandhi scion from attempting to revitalise his party in Maharashtra. On a two-day trip to the state, Rahul Gandhi addressed elected Congress representatives from various gram panchayats, zilla parishads, councils and municipal corporations at a congregation in Matunga yesterday, urging them to make the party stronger.
“In Maharashtra, our party is in government with the support of NCP, and in most of the districts Congress’s performance on its own is very good. However, in 10-12 districts we aren’t that strong and we need to focus in these areas to make the party powerful,” the AICC general secretary said. While interacting with Rahul, an elected representative from Western Maharashtra said, “If the party wants to be stronger in Western Maharashtra districts then it will need to fight elections on its own and not with the support of NCP. People need leaders with a 21st century vision; they do not want to be ruled by netas with vision from the 19th century.”
Another elected representative also pointed out to the Amethi MP that there are people in the Congress who act against official candidates during elections, leading to their defeat. “However, after elections, in spite of taking action against them, many of those people are sitting amongst us in this pandal,” he claimed. Rahul appeared to acknowledge this point. “The Opposition doesn’t defeat us; instead it is our own men who work against us and defeat us,” he said.
Rahul mentioned that there’s lack of accountability in the party — the doers are ignored and those who don’t work are often rewarded.
“Let’s focus on accountability and we will surely rise in this state. I want Congress to be strong in Maharashtra and whatever you want from me, I am always there for it,” he assured.
“We do need to be more disciplined and coordinated. We lack systematic approach towards things, which is needed. The government needs to focus towards party workers, and the workers should take the government’s work to the interiors, if we want to be the strongest party in the state,” he added. He also stressed on having more rules and discipline in the party.
15 minutes of fame Meanwhile, Alamelu Parmesh, a sixty-year-old resident of Matunga (East) had her moment under the sun yesterday. Parmesh claims she wanted to attend Rahul’s rally, but then as she didn’t have a pass, she was denied entry. She then waited outside her building to catch a glimpse of Rahul. “I waved at his car, and he stopped the car, stepped out and asked me whether I would like to get clicked with him. It was a very sweet a gesture from such a big leader. I didn’t have a camera, but then others started clicking pictures of me with Rahul,” she said.
Assuring us that party workers’ progress would only be documented by the good work he/she does for the people, Rahulji stated that any kind of favouritism would be condoned. He informed us of the unit management system that has been set up for this purpose. Party workers will now be able to upload their accomplishments daily. Rahulji will be kept abreast through this system, and be assured of the work we are doing.
Abhijeet Luniya, 28 College President Sant Dynaneshwar Vidyalaya, Ahmadnagar
Prepping the party workers telling us that we were sitting here today because of nothing but our sheer hard work, Rahulji encouraged us. He also appealed to us to widen our network at the grass root level so that we can help people better.
Anand Dubey, Vice President North Mumbai Youth Congress
Rahulji’s speech was very enlightening. He instructed us on better ways to address and deal with daily issues on the campus, which he said will enable productive changes. He motivated us saying that only the youth can and must play a strong part in the governance of this country.
Prabhat Jha, 24 Student Representative NKYTT College, Thane
Rahulji appealed to all the three sections of the party — Congress, Youth Congress and NSUI — to work together at the grass root levels for the welfare of people and resolve heir issues on a daily basis. He also appealed to us to work hard for the 2014 elections, and expressed his inclination to give more tickets to the youth in the next election.
Rajesh Tike, Delegate, Mumbai Pradesh Youth Congress
(Inputs: Nivedita Dargalkar)