New Delhi, Feb 9 : Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Saturday held a strategy meet with state party chiefs and legislative party leaders from across the country for the coming Lok Sabha elections and asked them to finalise the selection of the candidates and to work out alliances at the state level.
“On alliances, he (Gandhi) conveyed that every Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) should take initiative on its own and if there is some problem, then matters should be brought to Delhi,” a party leader said.
The Congress has to take a call on alliances in several states, including Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. In UP, where the party is not part of the SP-BSP alliance, the party has kept its doors open for future tieups even while signalling its intention to go it alone.
Several opposition leaders see little possibility of a pan-India alliance against the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) shaping up ahead of the Lok Sabha polls and have said there will be state-specific alliances.
The meeting also reviewed the state units’ efforts in setting up and mobilising booth and block committees.
According to sources, Gandhi laid a lot of emphasis on candidate selection during the meeting. He asked PCC chiefs to take steps to make candidate selection more inclusive and “ensure participation of maximum number of stakeholders and workers” in the process.
He said the candidate selection process should be completed “as soon as possible.”
The Congress chief asked them to highlight the “dictatorial style” of governance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “He (Gandhi) said the dictatorship style of governance of the Modi government should be highlighted at the campaign,” Congress General Secretary K.C. Venugopal said in a release later.
Gandhi asked the state party chiefs and Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leaders to expose the “anti-farmer, anti-youth, anti-women and anti-people policies of the Modi government.”
He stressed on highlighting the “burning issues of unemployment, farmers’ distress, sabotage of constitutional bodies, misuse of institutions and investigative agencies.”
The Congress chief said pro-people policies of the party such as Minimum Income Guarantee Programme should be taken to people across the country. “All PCC chiefs and CLP leaders were asked to focus on state-oriented issues and to suggest them to the AICC manifesto committee,” the release said.
In a tweet after the meeting, Gandhi said they discussed a wide range of issues related to the upcoming elections. “Today I met with our CLP leaders & PCC chiefs from all over India to review our election preparedness & strategy in each state. We discussed a wide range of issues related to the upcoming elections. I thank all those who came to Delhi to attend this meeting,” the tweet read.
The meeting has come two days after a meeting of party general secretaries, which was also attended by Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.