Rahul to step up grass root-level consultation in Congress

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Rahul Gandhi
New Delhi, April 16: Holding that political parties should try to adopt decentralisation as a key organisational concept to ensure that they reflect the will of the people at the grass root level, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said he would do his best to put into operation this principle in his party.

Interacting with a group of 20 elected representatives of different civic bodies at the Kerala Institute of Local Administration (KILA) in Thrissur, Mr. Gandhi said Congress would step up the process of consultation of grass root level functionaries in the coming days.

According to KILA sources, Mr. Gandhi said this while some of the participants said hardly any party held serious consultations with their grass root level workers and functionaries before deciding on candidates for Lok Sabha and assembly elections.

Some of them suggested that centrally-sponsored schemes should take into account the specifics of different states and Mr. Gandhi promised that he would certainly bring this matter to the notice of the authorities concerned.

Lauding Kerala's initiatives in decentralised planning and development being carried out through the three-tier panchayats and other civic bodies, Mr. Gandhi said "it is worthy of emulation for other states."

Mr. Gandhi, who arrived this morning, spent about 90-minutes at the institute, mostly listening to views of the participants and the presentation on "decentralisation and participatory planning."

A top official of the institute said Mr. Gandhi was "quite impressed" by the activities of KILA, which offers training programmes on local self governance to elected representatives of civic bodies from different parts of the country.

Mr. Gandhi said he would suggest his party functionaries in other states to send teams to attend programmes at KILA. Later, he also addressed a gram sabha at the nearby Adat village panchayat and focussed on the importance of decentralised planning and development and patted the advances made by Kerala in that direction.


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