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Rahul Gandhi ready to crack whip after taking stock in UP

By Anita

Rahul Gandhi
New Delhi, Apr 7: Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi is determined not to get bogged down by the dismal poll performance of the Congress in the UP Assembly elections 2012, with the party having to taste bitter failure in the party’s strongholds of Amethi and Rae Baraeli.

Maintaining that he was "not the one to get defeated", Rahul intends to spring back with plans to dissolve the party’s UP unit with party functionaries to be held responsible and accountable for the work entrusted to them.

With an intention to strengthen the party in the state, Rahul met with MPs, legislators, union ministers and some former party MPs from UP on the reasons behind the poll debacle. According to former party MP Rajesh Kumar Mishra who attended the meeting called by the Congress scion, he quoted Rahul as saying, “Main harne wala nahin hoon” (I am not the one to get defeated).

On seeking if the party’s UP unit needs to be dissolved, Rahul got a response in the affirmative. Mishra was also quoted as saying, “The response was unanimous yes. The MPs told him to reconstitute it in the way he wanted. They (the MPs) said accountability should be fixed from today evening.”

In a sweeping move to ensure discipline within the party, Rahul is reported to have told party workers that indiscipline will not be tolerated and union ministers should address concerns of workers. He also spoke about forming a complaint cell in the event of Ministers failing to listen to the workers issues and concerns. He also added that sincere workers will be entrusted with important responsibilities.

In a frank and taking-stock-of-the-situation meeting with party MP’s and functionaries, Rahul was told by some MP’s that some of the comments made by Ministers harmed the party and should not have been made. A party leader has been quoted as saying, “Lots of statements were made which should not have been made."

Rahul Gandhi asked the party members to focus on the 2014 Lok Sabha polls in a clear indication that he was here (UP) to stay.

Party leader Salim Shervani stated that among many reasons discussed on the party’s failure in the polls, prominent among them was the weakness of organisation, failure to convert support into votes, problems in ticket distribution, inability of the party to project itself as an alternative to Bahujan Samaj Party and statements concerning Batla house encounter and reservation for Muslims.

Rahul, however, added that there was no need to act all desperate since the party had registered an increase in its vote share and had finished in the top three position with around 200 seats. He commented, “It is easier to win (in the next election) if you have 25,000 votes... Now we have to take this forward.”

On eliminating the non-performers in the party, Party leader Kazim Ali stated that those people will be sacrificed. He said, “There will be a decision soon. Within a month. Who will go and who all will be inducted, only time will tell.”

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