Rahul Gandhi outside Parliament last week. File picture
New Delhi, March 6: Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi today told senior leaders to work in unison like an orchestra, instead of singing different tunes.
Rahul was guarded in his second interaction with the AICC office-bearers today, not bluntly talking about groupism and internal squabbles which emerged as his prime concern after meeting leaders from across the country.
But he hinted that the Congress was not working at full capacity because of disunity and poor resource management. He also entreated senior leaders to value merit and sincere work.
Rahul told AICC general secretaries and secretaries this evening that there was no dearth of talent in the Congress but the party suffered because of “lack of co-ordination and a communication gap”.
This was a polite presentation of the unpleasant experience during his ongoing interaction with party leaders and members of Parliament where sparring, blame-game and poor work culture emerged as vital causes of organisational rot.
A few hours before this meeting, Rahul had a ringside view of “infighting” during a session with party MPs from Madhya Pradesh. A similar experience at a meeting with Haryana and Delhi MPs over the past few days had compelled him to warn that he would not allow Pradesh Congress Committee offices to become conspiracy centres against the chief ministers.
Today, MPs from Madhya Pradesh painted a grim picture, predicting another defeat in the Assembly elections if senior leaders such as Digvijaya Singh, Kamal Nath, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Suresh Pachauri did not stop fighting.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi has been grappling in vain with this problem for over a decade and identified disunity as the biggest challenge before the party at the recent Jaipur conclave. “Our workers have just one expectation from the leaders — unity and discipline. We must rise to their expectations,” she had said.
Rahul had a first-hand experience of this malaise when leaders of Delhi and Haryana targeted their chief ministers instead of the BJP. In Maharashtra, he was in for a greater shock when a leader questioned the sagacity of the high command in appointing an outsider, Mohan Prakash, as the in-charge of the state.
Rahul indirectly referred to this internal crisis at today’s meeting while praising party leaders for their understanding and wisdom.
But he was cautious, not antagonising anyone despite the role of the AICC general secretaries in creating such a system. Rahul promised to hold a combined meeting of general secretaries and PCC presidents soon to iron out differences and draw a roadmap for the future.
Sources said he stressed on the need for activating all the organs of the party machinery, pointing out that there was scarcely any activity in state and district offices. He asked general secretaries to define roles, allocate work and time-bound assignments as office-bearers at various levels had no work.
Rahul asked them to hold regular meetings, reach out to district and block levels and review the progress regularly.
Stressing the need to plug the communication gap and resolve conflicts through consultations, he said: “I want you to enjoy your work. When you come to the office, it should be a pleasure for you.”
General secretaries Ghulam Nabi Azad and Madhusudan Mistri said party workers should be informed in detail of central schemes, financial allocations and encouraged to monitor their implementation. Senior leader Mohsina Kidwai, too, underscored the need for mass contact programmes, endorsing Rahul’s appeal to reach out to the people.