Blame game at Rahul Gandhi meeting with PCC chiefs, CLP leaders

Rahul Gandhi

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi's meeting with state unit presidents and Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leaders here Friday turned out to be a blame game exercise, with leaders taking potshots at rivals. If Delhi Congress president J P Agrawal complained of non-cooperation from the Sheila Dikshit government, his Madhya Pradesh counterpart Kantilal Bhuria alleged that senior leaders such as Kamal Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia were not allowing him to work.

As for Congress's seemingly biggest challenge in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections — Narendra Modi — the state unit emphasised the need to "nail Modi's lies". Gujarat Congress president Arjun Bhai Modhwadia was learnt to have argued that national media is getting "Modi-centric" . Modhwadia was said to have exhorted the party leadership to come up with counter-measures to present a "correct picture". He raised the fact of Modi coming to the national capital to urge the Central leadership to act.

While most of the PCC chiefs and CLP leaders confined themselves to giving a feedback on the situation in their states, a few used the opportunity to target rivals. Dikshit is said to have told J P Agrawal to let the government carry out its duties even as the party did its own work.

Bhuria accused leaders like Scindia and Kamal Nath of only descending to the state at the time of elections, and said he was not being allowed to work independently.

Kerala PCC chief Ramesh Chennithala was learnt to have expressed concern about the impact of price rise, while CM Oommen Chandy sought special assistance to deal with drought. Jharkhand PCC chief Pradeep Balmuchu wanted clarity on the formation of government in the state.

Many PCC chiefs said central ministers should be in touch with party units. Rahul Gandhi was said to have told them about performance-linked "reward and punishment system" in the party and suggested the need for a set of criteria in ticket distribution.

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