Rahul to meet CMs of Cong-ruled states today

Rahul to meet CMs of Cong-ruled states today

Rahul to meet CMs of Cong-ruled states today

Assuming key responsibilities in the party, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi  convened a meeting of chief ministers of 12 party-ruled states on December 27 to discuss strategy for the Lok Sabha elections.

This is the first time Rahul has convened a meeting of chief ministers, a prerogative usually exercised by Congress President Sonia Gandhi. It is not clear whether Sonia would attend the day-long meeting.

The Congress leadership is expected to get feedback from the 12 chief ministers of the political situation in the states, particularly in the backdrop of the party’s defeat in assembly elections in four states.

Rahul, often described as the “future leader” of the Congress, is also expected to seek update from each chief minister on the steps taken to curb price rise, which is considered to be the main reason for the party’s rout in the recent elections.

Also, top on the agenda, are the steps taken by the state governments to establish the Lokayukta or the anti-corruption ombudsman as mandated in the Lokpal Bill passed by Parliament earlier this month.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi had identified price rise as the key issue that led to the party’s loss in the recent assembly elections. Party leaders believe that high inflation was also the reason that negated its attempts to capitalise on the 10-year anti-incumbency in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, where BJP romped home for the third consecutive term.

The meeting would be attended by Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, Food Minister K V Thomas and AICC General Secretaries in-charge of party affairs in the states.

Rahul Gandhi has been raising the issue of corruption frequently in party fora as well as in interactions and public fora.

At the FICCI meeting on Saturday last, Gandhi had said that corruption is the “biggest issue” that is “bleeding people dry”.

In the past, Sonia Gandhi had convened meetings of chief ministers of Congress-ruled states in Pachmarhi, Shimla, Srinagar, Mount Abu and Delhi ahead of elections.

The Congress has chief ministers in 12 states – Haryana, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Maharashtra and Kerala.

In Maharashtra and Kerala, the Congress heads the coalition, while it is a junior partner in Jammu and Kashmir and Jharkhand where National Conference and JMM have chief ministers respectively.

This month, Congress was ousted from power in Rajasthan and Delhi.

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