Party expects Rahulís elevation will pay dividends in bypoll
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The crowning of Gandhi scion at Chintin Shivir of the Congress at Jaipur has changed the poll flavour at Moga, which goes to bypoll on February 23.
Though the party has yet to announce its candidate, it is expecting the elevation of Rahul Gandhi to reap rich poll dividends in what has been its bastion in the last two consecutive state elections.
Back from the chintin shivir, Punjab Congress president Captain Amarinder Singh held a meeting with the panel headed by Kapurthala MLA Rana Gurjit Singh to finalise the candidate.
The official announcement of the nominee is likely by Wednesday after approval by Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
The party which was till now mainly banking on Moga to vote against betrayal by its winning MLA Joginderpal Jain and forcing a byelection within a year, is now hoping to garner votes from a "resurgent Congress" under its new leader. Though Congress leaders and MLAs leave no words unsaid in lavishing praises at the "historic" decision, party sources said their performance will be under watch of Rahul's team and his stamp is likely not just in party's organisational structure in the runup to 2014 polls but also selection of candidates. The exercise starts from the Moga bypoll.
"After assuming charge as party vice-president, he will hopefully closely monitor the Moga bypoll. The declaration of the party at Jaipur also stated that in opposition ruled states, the party will have to take the path of agitations to show why Congress are better than the ruling party," says leader of opposition Sunil Jakhar.
Rahul visted Punjab twice last year to meet party rank and file and take stock of reasons for poll defeat.
It was followed by meetings at New Delhi with prominent state leaders and sending party observers to prepare a report card on sitting MPs, contenders and issues for the 2014 parliamentary polls.