Rahul meets N-E Congmen

New Delhi, Feb. 25: Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi met chief ministers, Congress Legislature Party and PCC chiefs from the northeastern states this afternoon, possibly with an eye on the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

However, there were no representatives from Tripura and Nagaland, which are ruled by the Left Front and Naga People's Front (NPF) respectively and have shown a sorry scenario for the national party over the years.

Only leaders of Congress-ruled states, including chief ministers of Meghalaya, Mizoram, Assam and Manipur attended the three-hour meet at the party's "war room" on Rakabganj Road here.

The meeting comes within days of polling in Meghalaya, Tripura and Nagaland.

Rahul is known to have told state leaders that more and more party workers should be used in implementing central and state government schemes in the states. Sources said he pointed out that when NGOs and people in general are involved in implementation of government schemes, party workers could help expand the scope of these schemes to the grassroots.

"He wanted to know the problems of all the states and asked us to strengthen the party network," Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi told reporters after the meeting, hinting that the Congress expects the Congress-ruled states to contribute to the polls next year. In Assam, the Congress has seven of the 14 seats. The party has both seats in Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh, one in Meghalaya and Mizoram's lone seat. Tripura is with the CPM and Nagaland with the NPF.

The state leaders spoke of various problems like insurgency and financial weaknesses at the grassroots.

"Since this was an in-camera meeting, people were allowed to speak their mind. Rahulji spoke about how we can better the organisation and its structure in our states," Arunachal Pradesh PCC chief Mukut Mithi said.

Gogoi said Rahul gave a patient hearing to the leaders and spoke of the Congress's strengths. He had interacted with chief ministers of Congress-ruled states soon after taking over as the party vice-president, but a meeting with the leaders from the Northeast was deferred because of the Assembly polls.

The deferment did not count for Nagaland and Tripura as leaders expressed their inability to attend the meeting. In Nagaland, the reason offered by leaders was "repolling in eight polling stations". Neither PCC chief S.I. Jamir, who is facing a tough time listening to candidates' woes after polling, nor CLP leader Tokheho Yepthomi attended the meeting.

Some in Nagaland say the non-attendance was to express unhappiness. "The AICC abandoned (us) at the eleventh hour," said a senior leader who is toying with the idea of defecting to NPF. In Tripura, infighting has taken a toll on the party.

Those left were the Congress-ruled states. A confident Meghalaya chief minister, Mukul M. Sangma, attended the meet as did Gogoi, who registered a victory for the party in the recently held panchayat polls. Sangma is understood to have assured Rahul that the Congress was set to return to power in Meghalaya.

Manipur chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh and Mizoram chief minister Lalthanhawla also spoke at the meeting that was attended by AICC general secretary Janardan Dwivedi.

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Pietersen to miss Delhi's first game

Pietersen to miss Delhi's first game

The former England batsman will have to lead the franchise as he is out of the match against Bangalore with a finger injury. More »

Kallis, Narine star in Knight Riders’ crushing win

Kallis, Narine star in Knight Riders’ crushing win

An all-round display saw Knight Riders thump Mumbai Indians by 41 runs in the IPL-7 opener. More »

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

"Integrity is non-negotiable..." says the BCCI's interim chief ahead of Season 7 of the tainted league. More »

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

The 38-year-old South African veteran turned it on for Kolkata Knight RIders in the opening match of IPL-7. More »

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

The court emphasised that the tainted administrator can no longer work for the BCCI. More »

'If you do the wrong thing it will be found out'

'If you do the wrong thing it will be found out'

'Everyone knows what is right and what is wrong and if you do the wrong thing it will be found out' More »

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Welcome to another season of a league that many watch but few trust. More »

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Australia's Mitchell Johnson may quit limited-overs cricket to prolong his test career with an eye on the 2015 Ashes series in England, the fast bowler… More »

There's a lot going on: Fleming

There's a lot going on: Fleming

He experienced anxious moments in the lead-up to the tournament as the courts decided on whether to suspend the franchise, he said, but stressed that the… More »

Nepal players call off boycott

Nepal players call off boycott

Thaw in relations after formation of an advisory committee that would work in tandem with the Cricket Association of Nepal. More »

Latif couldn’t work with tainted players

Latif couldn’t work with tainted players

Former Pakistan cricket captain Rashid Latif said Tuesday he turned down the job of national chief selector because he could not work with ex-players tainted… More »

We are not over-confident: Bailey

We are not over-confident: Bailey

Indian Premier League — George Bailey-led Kings XI Punjab will face Chennai Super Kings on Friday. More »

Big runs expected, with bat and ball

Big runs expected, with bat and ball

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Their main concern, once again, is the fast bowling More »

Taxing issue — BCCI hits roadblock

Taxing issue — BCCI hits roadblock

MoU between BCCI & its units to avoid double taxation delayed after a few decline to share details. More »

Black Caps pick rookie duo for West Indies

Black Caps pick rookie duo for West Indies

New Zealand selectors included two new caps in a 15-man Test squad named Tuesday to tour the West Indies, with injury-hit spinner Dan Vettori's future… More »

The stage is set for IPL-7 to start

The stage is set for IPL-7 to start

The Preview — Defending champions Mumbai Indians take on Kolkata Knight Riders More »

Srinivasan appeals to court to allow BCCI comeback

Srinivasan appeals to court to allow BCCI comeback

He was aggrieved by the allegations against him during the hearing. More »

India: cricket's Brazil

India: cricket's Brazil

They are tough to beat with a big talent base exposed to good facilities. (CYCSPL) More »

Delhi Daredevils say no to gifts

Delhi Daredevils say no to gifts

Franchises are doing their bit to refurbish the image of the tainted league. More »

Klinger on his exit from South Australia

Klinger on his exit from South Australia

Michael Klinger has revealed he felt compelled to leave South Australia after being told he would be only a fringe part of the Redbacks' plans for next season, and disputed the suggestion that he left… More »

India-Pakistan Test series likely in 2015

India-Pakistan Test series likely in 2015

The revival of Indo-Pak Test ties could take place in UAE. More »

Kohli hopes to end RCB trophy drought

Kohli hopes to end RCB trophy drought

'This time around we will hope to go few more steps ahead and actually get that trophy' More »

Gavaskar can help IPL regain glory

Gavaskar can help IPL regain glory

Apart from the foreign players a lot of behind-the-scene activity has taken place in selecting the Indian domestic players. More »

Tendulkar, Ganguly to promote soccer

Tendulkar, Ganguly to promote soccer

Leading Spanish club Atletico Madrid and former cricketers Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly are among the owners of eight franchises of a new Indian… More »