Walk the talk, Cong leaders tell Rahul

Walk the talk, Cong leaders tell Rahul

“Walk the talk” was the message some district Congress leaders had for party vice-president Rahul Gandhi, who unveiled plans for sweeping organisational changes on Friday.

“You spoke about electoral reforms, revamp of the organisation. All this should turn into reality,” a district Congress chief, who spoke on conditions of anonymity, said during his meeting with Gandhi on Saturday.

In a bid to boost the morale of Congress workers, Gandhi had asked presidents of the party’s district units, who had come here for Friday’s AICC meeting, to stay back for a day or two so that he could meet each of them.

A number of Congress leaders wanted Rahul to meet party workers more often. Some elders among the leaders recalled that late prime ministers Indira Gandhi and her son Rajiv used to meet the workers on a regular basis.

A Congress leader from Uttar Pradesh wanted Priyanka Gandhi to be appointed president of the state unit in place of incumbent Nirmal Khatri. Priyanka’s appointment would rejuvenate the party cadre ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, he contended.

A common complaint of the delegates was against the “arrogance of elected representatives and central ministers”.

Gandhi, in his speech at the AICC meeting on Friday, dwelt extensively on giving primacy to the voice of the Congress workers, who were more important than MPs or MLAs.
“Congress ministers do not speak to us properly, at times hurl abuses at us. Whatever you (Rahul) speak here, exactly the opposite happens in the regions,” another leader claimed to have told Gandhi.

AICC delegates from Uttarakhand wanted the Congress to change party spokespersons, who they said had failed to defend the party against the propaganda unleashed by the BJP.

A leader from Rajasthan also wanted Gandhi to fix responsibility on senior party functionaries who failed to deliver in the recent elections. A demand was also made to field senior leaders, who are known to avoid facing the electorate, in the upcoming elections.

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