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Rahul Gandhi on Friday warned of “surgery” in the Gujarat Congress, but gave the organisation a chance to cure itself through “medicine” in the 2014 elections.
Rahul, who on Thursday said the party’s main problem in the state was infighting, not the BJP, listened to workers and leaders from the block and district levels before pronouncing his prescription at the meeting of the executive committee here.
“Mujhe aapse kuchh nahin kehna, aap jaante ho Congress mein leaders ka problem hai (I have nothing to say to you, you know that the problem in the Congress is with its leaders),” a top party functionary quoted Rahul as having said.
When Ahmed Patel, political secretary to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, suggested that “drastic steps like a major surgery needed to be taken”, Rahul reportedly said, “Davaai se theek ho jaata hai to theek hai, nahin to major surgery 2014 ke baad karenge (If the disease is cured by medicine, then it’s fine, else we will do a major surgery after 2014).”
Rahul asked the executive to meet every month instead of the every six months that it now meets. “Functionaries including district and city presidents should not stay at the same post for more than two terms,” Rahul is learnt to have said. “There should be decentralisation of power. Taluka and booth level leaders should have some rights so that they can see a career and a future.”
To top leaders, he is reported to have warned, “Anybody, irrespective of the post he holds, if he does not work, will lose the post.”
A PTI report quoted Jamnagar MP Vikram Madam as saying Rahul had told workers, “We should not worry about the 2014 elections... it is not a do-or-die situation, and after the 2014 general election there would be no doubt about the party’s existence, as the Congress is a permanent political party”.
However, when contacted by The Indian Express, Madam denied the statement. “I have not said any such thing to anybody. In fact, Rahul asserted that we will win the 2014 and 2017 (state) elections,” he said.