Rahul Gandhi's meet with state Congress leaders to be an all-male affair

Rahul Gandhi

Notwithstanding the focus on women, Rahul Gandhi's scheduled interaction with state Congress leaders here on Friday and Saturday will virtually be an all-male affair.

This is because barring Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit there is hardly any woman leader in the party who is either the PCC President or CLP leader in any state.

Gandhi's meeting with the PCC chiefs and CLP leaders also assume significance as there are nine Assembly elections scheduled this year and the Lok Sabha polls not far away. The state polls include those in Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Karnataka.

Rita Bahuguna resigned as the Uttar Pradesh PCC Chief last year in the wake of the debacle of the party in the Assembly polls while Vidya Stokes gave way to Virbhadra Singh recently as the CLP leader after the party gained power in Himachal Pradesh.

After having completed 14 years as Delhi Chief Minister, Dikshit could have created a record in the party of having the longest tenure at the helm, especially among women leaders.

Sonia Gandhi, who has been the party chief since 1998, has also created record of having the longest stint at the helm in the 128-year old organisation, which is the oldest political party in the country.

Soon after his elevation last month as the Vice-Presidentof the party, Rahul Gandhi has already given hints of making changes in the organisation at various levels to make it fighting fit.

In the Jaipur Declaration, adopted at the just concluded AICC meeting after a two-day Chintan Shivir, Congress has made a host of promises to improve the status and condition of women.

For security, the Declaration has promised to expedite the creation of helplines in all major urban centres, exclusive transport facilities, and gender sensitivity classes

for police personnel besides registering and investigating crimes against women.

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