The main issues that Rahul Gandhi gave emphasis to were
- "Responsibility with accountability"
- Ways to strengthen the organisation and said personal problems can be taken up later.
- responsibilites of AICC secretaries should be clearly defined,
- Tickets for elections were being sold
- Need for immediate organizational revamp
- A state of confusion
- Strengthen the party for the 2014 polls
- party seceretaries who expressed unhappiness over their "subordinate" status
Congress will face the 2014 general elections under the leadership of its newly appointed Vice President Rahul Gandhi, Union Minister Sachin Pilot said.
"Congress will go to the people under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi in 2014 general elections and the UPA will again form the government," he told reporters last night.
There was an intense infighting within BJP among a dozen leaders for the Prime Minister's post and that had affected its NDA partners, he said.The Minister denied that there was factionalism in Congress.
Gandhi was talking on the second day of his first formal interaction with senior leaders after taking over as party's no.2. The meeting will continue Feb 4 as only 13 party secretaries could speak on Friday.
After giving a patient hearing to the AICC Secretaries narrating their woes, the Amethi MP, whois described as“strategy consultant”, remarked that no one appeared happy about the state of affairs in the organisation and “we have to rectify” the situation.
“No one appears happy about the system as they feel it is unfair and that there are no rules and regulations and, therefore, there is uncertainty and we have to rectify the situation”, Gandhi was quoted as saying by party leaders during the two-hour-long meeting with AICC office bearers.
Correcting the basic problems and ensuring that rules were followed."We need to have a system, so the party can work towards its goals...we need to correct the basics first and ensure we have rules that are followed," the sources quoted Gandhi as saying.
He also said there was no need to rush with change in the organisation and said it would unfold in two phases.
Rahul Gandhi on Friday signalled plans to carry out drastic and lasting changes in the working of the Congress to make it fighting fit ahead of a series of elections including the Lok Sabha polls.
The discussions at the meeting are expected to help Gandhi plan his new team to fight a slew of assembly polls this year and the next general elections scheduled in 2014.
Many secretaries started listing their individual grievances, saying they did not receive enough time or opportunity from the general secretaries and the ministers, and sought a quick resolution of their problems.
Office bearers want Rahul Gandhi to speak on vital issue like brutal gangrape, Anna Hazare 's protest against corruption, Telangana and LoC tension and other important matters .
A strong plea for an early resolution of the vexed Telangana issue was made by an AICC Secretary during a meeting of Congress office bearers with Rahul Gandhi . P Sudhakar Reddy raised the issue at the meeting and he later said that Gandhi assured him to look into it.
Another party Secretary V Hanumanta Rao, who also hails from the Telangana region, said that the party Vice Presidenttold Reddy to focus on organisational issues for which the meeting has been called.
The issue of separate state of Telangana has divided Andhra Pradesh on regional lines and party MPs from the region have threatened to tender their resignation to Speaker MeiraKumar if urgent steps are not taken to carve out the state from Andhra Pradesh.
Andhra Pradesh is the only major state where the Congress is in power on its own and the spectacular showing there in the Lok Sabha polls helped the Congress to gain power at the Centre via the coalition route in 2004 and retain it in 2009.
Rahul hears grievances of Cong secretaries
It was fireworks again at a Congress meeting as Rahul Gandhi heard the grievances of party seceretaries who expressed unhappiness over their "subordinate" status and their being left out from key party work.
The meeting saw some senior leaders coming under fire from the juniors and the younger lot besides urgent calls for serious introspection and corrective measures. Sanjay Bapna and several other secretaries said the responsibilities of AICC secretaries should be clearly defined so that accountablity could be fixed.
Mirza Irsahd Beg and others said the secretaries were the most travelled lot reaching the grassroots and their expertise and experience needed to be utilized by the party for its benefit.
Beg rued that despite being a secretary for more than a decade, he has not been given any major task. Demanding that the responsibilites of AICC secretaries should be clearly defined, he rued that he was not called even once for such a meeting in the past, which prompted Rahul to say "I will call all of you again and again".
It was also pointed out that some of the secretaries have not been given responsibility for any state. Their complaint was similar to that of Ministers of States some time back that they are not given key responsibilities by the cabinet Ministers.
Fresh from the defeat in Gujarat assembly elections, AICC secretary in-charge for the state Ashok Tanwar, a leader from the Rahul brigade, rued that the cadres of Youth Congress were "directionless" in the state and could not be properly utilised during the elections.
"We prepared Youth Congress cadres there with great effort. But they did not have clearly defined work to do during the elections," he said. AICC in-charge for Gujarat Mohan Prakash was also present at the closed-door meeting.