Initiating efforts to revamp the Congress, Rahul Gandhi today convened a key strategy meeting in which he asked volunteers to assess the ground situation and strengthen the party in poll-bound states. The meeting was attended by a group of party MPs, MLAs, former PCC chiefs and party workers, besides four former Union ministers including P Chidambaram. During his three-hour interaction with the party leaders, Rahul asked them to devote more time to the party and help strengthen it ahead of upcoming elections to key states including Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. Sources said Rahul asked the leaders to volunteer for visiting the poll-bound states and help suggest ways and means to strengthen the party at the grassroots level after assessing the ground situation in these states. The Congress vice president sought views of the leaders at the meeting to help revive the Congress from the lowest level of panchayats to the highest level in states. He indicated that there will be more such meetings with party leaders in groups of 50 and assured decentralisation and internal democracy in the party at all levels. Rahul also stressed on the need for dedicated cadres who would devote more time for the party.
There was also a view during the meeting that the party was "neglected" when the Congress was in power in various states and the need to do away with such a culture and the need to focus on the organisation. The party has already announced the poll schedule for organisational elections, which is to be completed by December. The Election Commission has asked the Congress to complete its internal elections by this year-end, after it gave a six-month extension to the party on the issue. Amid a growing clamour among partymen for restructuring in the wake of recent electoral defeats in states, the party is in for a major revamp in the coming days and is likely to hold a series of meetings in this regard. A meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC), the highest decision-making body of the party is also likely soon.
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