Rahul's blunt talk on Punjab debacle, finds fault with tickets

Ticking off senior Congress leaders over faulty ticket distribution and nepotism in Punjab, Rahul Gandhi today called for "introspection" into the party's debacle in last Assembly and civic polls in the state.

Gandhi, who is on a two-day tour of the state, said in a closed-door meeting with party workers that he was surprised by the Assembly election results in Punjab in February 2011 as he expected the Congress to win.

"So there is need for introspection as to what went wrong. There is a need to find out why the Gold medallist Congress party got the silver medal in Punjab and ensure that this does not happen again," he said here.

Gandhi identified four main reason that led to to the party's debacle in the state.
From what the block Presidents said, he concluded that the first reason for the party's debacle in the state was that tickets were distributed by senior party leaders without talking to grassroots workers, a party spokesman said.

Second, he said, tickets were not distributed on time and there was late distribution of tickets. Third, he maintained that the tickets within Dalit sections were not properly distributed.

And fourth, Gandhi said that he had noticed the Block Presidents saying that too much nepotism was shown during distribution of the party tickets and some families got the tickets to their kith and kin.

A Youth Congress press release quoted Gandhi as saying that 2014 Lok Sabha polls will be like a semi-finals for the party's state unit and next Assembly elections finals.
"Those candidates, who lost in the elections, also met Gandhi and apprised him of the party's activities in recent times. Gandhi assured them that the leadership will take all their suggestions under consideration," the release said.

There were certain "shortcomings" which were "overlooked" and which need to be thought about and discussed threadbare, a party spokesman quoted Rahul as having said.

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