Rahul Gandhi tells Congressmen to strengthen party

New Delhi, Feb 16 (IANS) Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi Saturday urged state party leaders to meet people and workers to strengthen the party.

While summing up his two-day review meeting ahead of the assembly polls this year and the 2014 general elections, Rahul Gandhi gave leaders time-bound schedules to fill gaps in the party down to the block level.

He added that their performance would be reviewed and rewarded after two months.

The meeting in the national capital lasted over 13 hours Feb 15-16.

"All aspects of politics were discussed, including the challenges before the party's shortcomings," Congress general secretary Janardan Dwivedi told reporters after the meeting.

Rahul Gandhi had set the tone of the meeting Friday before 45 state leaders including chief ministers, Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chiefs and Congress Legislative Party (CLP) leaders.

"I want to understand the ground realities. Express yourself freely," Rahul Gandhi said.

He heard suggestions from leaders, including greater publicity of central welfare programmes, increased interaction of central ministers with local leaders during state visits and that Rahul Gandhi should hear them more often.

"Rahul Gandhi said he will hold such meetings more often and he will tour the states," Dwivedi quoted Rahul Gandhi as saying.

Disconnect between the party and the government, lack of organisational strength and factional feuds have affected the Congress' prospects in many states.

Madhya Pradesh Congress chief Kanti Lal Bhuria, who has the difficult task of keeping the state's leaders together, told reporters: "Ministers should find time for the party. They should inform PCC chiefs while visiting the state and meet the workers."

"We need to put our house in order to be counted as a national party," Uttar Pradesh PCC chief Nirmal Khatri told reporters after the meeting.

Uttar Pradesh CLP leader Pradeep Mathur said Rahul Gandhi took the issue of lack of "discipline" in the party seriously and asked the leaders to "stop fighting".

According to sources, besides organisational issues, performance of Congress-ruled states, challenges in states where the party is not in power and the impact of the government's flagship welfare schemes were also discussed during the two-day meeting.

"Rahul Gandhi told the leaders to improve coordination among various levels of the party," Dwivedi said.

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Kolkata bowling vs Bangalore batting might

Kolkata bowling vs Bangalore batting might

The likely return of Gayle will boost Bangalore, but the result could be determined by Kolkata's bowlers. More »

Boycotting IPL will not save cricket

Boycotting IPL will not save cricket

Boycotting the IPL as a means of protest against the grime in the game may not yield the desired results. More »

Gambhir a knock away from striking form - KKR coach

Gambhir a knock away from striking form - KKR coach

Gautam made an eight-ball duck in the opening game against Mumbai and in the second game against Delhi, he lasted only half those balls. More »

Jadeja spins out Rajasthan in close chase

Jadeja spins out Rajasthan in close chase

IPL 7, GAME 10—Chennai beat Rajasthan by 7 runs after last-over scare. More »

April 24: A legend is born

As Sachin Tendulkar turns 41 - here's a look at some offbeat moments from the Master Blaster's innings. More »

Rivals say Srini group delaying BCCI special general meeting

Rivals say Srini group delaying BCCI special general meeting

The group opposed to Srinivasan alleged that since BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel belongs to the president’s group, he was intentionally delaying the SGM… More »

Cleaning up the game starts with fans

Cleaning up the game starts with fans

... because, as recent events reveal, the BCCI has little intention of doing it. More »

Vithanage, Priyanjan get T20 call-ups

Vithanage, Priyanjan get T20 call-ups

Herath has been rested, while the team will be without the veteran pair of Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara, who retired from T20 internationals… More »

'BCCI should have picked panel with care'

'BCCI should have picked panel with care'

Dalmiya said that it was the first time that the BCCI had been faced with a situation where the apex court had hauled up the Board and it should have acted… More »

SL in 'difficult place' after Farbrace exit

SL in 'difficult place' after Farbrace exit

Sri Lanka depart for assignments in Ireland and England in two weeks, and Sanath Jayasuriya suggested Marvan Atapattu would be interim head coach for those… More »

Chandimal axed as T20 captain

Chandimal axed as T20 captain

Sri Lanka's cricket selectors on Wednesday sacked Dinesh Chandimal as Twenty20 captain and replaced him with Lasith Malinga, while Angelo Mathews was… More »

Farbrace is England's assistant coach

Farbrace is England's assistant coach

The ECB continued the restructuring of the England coaching set-up on Wednesday by announcing the appointment of Paul Farbrace as assistant coach. More »

SC asks Mudgal committee to continue

SC asks Mudgal committee to continue

Mukul Mudgal has communicated to the court his willingness to take up the investigation and has been asked to specify the terms and modalities on April… More »

Sri Lanka players resolve pay dispute

Sri Lanka players resolve pay dispute

The pay dispute between Sri Lanka Cricket and its 13 contracted players ended on Wednesday when the latter agreed to accept 10 percent of the participation… More »

Hope to be fit for next game - Pietersen

Hope to be fit for next game - Pietersen

With two heavy defeats at the hands of Bangalore and Chennai, Daredevils currently languish near the bottom of the table. More »

'SC decision could hurt BCCI's status'

'SC decision could hurt BCCI's status'

The Supreme Court prefers that the Justice Mudgal panel further investigate the IPL corruption scandal. More »

Mudgal panel drops bombshell in court

Mudgal panel drops bombshell in court

The Mukul Mudgal probe committee dropped a bombshell in the Supreme Court on Tuesday by making a sensational claim that it was forced to stop audio recording… More »

Perfect Punjab trounce Hyderabad

Perfect Punjab trounce Hyderabad

IPL7, GAME 9—Maxwell (95, 43b), Balaji (4-13) set up 72-run win. More »

Have the ECB played an unfair game?

Have the ECB played an unfair game?

Money talks, but it is in light of this ICC shakeup that the ECB's act of soliciting of another team's coach deteriorates from free-market aggression to… More »

Farbrace quits for England post

Farbrace quits for England post

He will assist Peter Moores who was unveiled as the new England coach on Saturday. More »

Moin appointed to manage Pakistan team

Moin appointed to manage Pakistan team

Pakistan on Monday reappointed Moin Khan as chief selector and manager of the national team, a week after fellow former captain Rashid Latif turned down… More »

Chennai smash Delhi for first win

Chennai smash Delhi for first win

IPL7, MATCH 8—Raina-led middle order, superlative catching give CSK a 93-run win. More »

'BCCI reputation lowest in 80 years'

'BCCI reputation lowest in 80 years'

The former BCCI president says he was "disillusioned" by the happenings at the emergent working committee meeting on Sunday. More »

Injured Bravo to miss rest of IPL

Injured Bravo to miss rest of IPL

Dwayne Bravo is set to be sidelined for at least four weeks due to a shoulder problem. Bravo sustained the injury when attempting a catch on the boundary… More »