Rahul Gandhi addresses youth Congress leaders in Bokaro on Wednesday. (Pankaj Singh)
Bokaro, Sept. 26: Rahul Gandhi today cautioned Congressmen in the state to connect with the masses before harbouring any political ambition and shun factionalism after an overt show of divisiveness greeted him in Bokaro at the conclusion of his two-day tour of Jharkhand.
The Congress general secretary addressed senior leaders at IMA Hall and youth Congress members at library grounds in Sector V after arriving at Bokaro aerodrome around 11.05am.
At IMA Hall, he admonished senior leaders for fanning factionalism, allowing sycophancy and for not striving to strengthen the party at the grassroots.
“Congress is weak in Jharkhand and the leaders are not coming out of their AC chambers to work for the masses and to win their confidence. They are not telling the people about the good work and welfare programmes carried out by the UPA-I and UPA-II governments,” he said, urging the leaders to visit panchayat, villages and blocks regularly.
Rahul was left with no choice but to accept the fragile health of the state unit. Despite his repeated pleas to maintain unity, a section of senior Congressmen led by Vishrampur MLA Chandrashekhar Dubey raised a clamour at the party meeting, demanding the removal of Jharkhand in-charge Shakeel Ahmad.
Women delegates also raised their voice, seeking a new state unit president in place of Pradeep Balmuchu, the newly elected Rajya Sabha MP.
The dissident bunch also cried foul against Union tourism minister Subodh Kant Sahay and leader of Opposition Rajendra Prasad Singh.
Jharkhand Mahila Congress president Abha Sinha alleged that none of the leaders listened to her pleas and asked for 30 per cent of the party tickets for women candidates.
If the meeting with the senior lot left the Gandhi scion with a bitter experience, his interaction with over 3,700 youth Congress leaders drew hope and cheers of approval.
“I promise you that the days of autocratic senior leaders who held out party tickets to sycophants are over. Now, only dedicated workers who are in touch with the common man will get tickets for Assembly and Lok Sabha elections,” he said. He also urged the women cadre to work for the organisation as loyal soldiers.
Rajendra Rajendra Prasad Singh The Telegraph: “Rahul Gandhi will file a report on his visit to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, after which necessary steps will be taken to strengthen the state unit.”