The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Congress overhaul prior to polls

Ranchi, Dec. 2: Chief minister Madhu Koda’s woes may be on the rise.

In a significant decision, the state Congress today declared they would overhaul the organisation giving new responsibilities to the party’s top functionaries, including its general secretaries and vice-presidents.

The state Congress president, Pradeep Kumar Balmuchu, today held a three-hour meeting with about 30 senior party leaders belonging to the rank of the general secretaries and vice-presidents.

“There is a need to tone up the organisation in the state. The general secretaries and vice presidents would be entrusted with more crucial tasks soon,” Balmuchu said.

Party sources said under the new arrangement, one senior party leader would be entrusted with the responsibility of looking after a couple of Assembly constituencies.

These leaders would have to make regular trips to the constituencies, remain in touch with the party workers and electorate and give feedback to the high command.

The names of these leaders and the constituencies where they would work would be spelt out after the approval of the AICC leader and party in-charge in the state, Ajay Maken.

He is arriving here tomorrow to chair the state’s working committee meeting.

So far no appointments were made to look after Assembly constituencies.

The general secretaries and vice-presidents were assigned to look after districts.

“Such a step by the party is a strong signal that Congress has started its preparation for an impending Assembly election. The party workers are in no mood to tolerate the Koda government for a long time,” hinted a senior state party leader.

The state Congress, which is rendering support to the Koda government from outside, has already served a two-month ultimatum to Koda to improve its functioning.

The deadline for the ultimatum ends on January 15, 2008.

During the meeting today, the Congress leaders castigated the Koda government for its poor performance.

“The burning of the effigy of Congress president, Sonia Gandhi, within the premises of the party headquarters by a mob of over 500 is testimony of the growing lawlessness prevailing in the state. The police and the intelligence utterly failed to prevent such an unsavoury incident,” said a Congress leader.

State Congress spokesman Alok Kumar Dubey said that the party leaders are sore over the incident that took place last Friday.

Such an incident has never happened in any part of the country, he said, and it was a conspiracy to defame the party and its president. The party has decided to invite Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi for the party’s foundation day celebrations on December 27 at Dhanbad.

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