Rahul Gandhi to meet state Cong leaders today


The visit of Mr Rahul Gandhi, the All India Congress Committee general secretary, to the state is intended more to have short meetings with the state Congress leaders than to set the Congress House in order as was earlier speculated.
Mr Gandhi, who is set to assume a larger role in the party by the middle of the next month, is likely to concentrate on seeking views of the state leaders on fortifying Congress at the national level than to sort out issues facing the party in Goa, said a senior Congress leader.
The Congress leader and heir apparent to Ms Sonia Gandhi would arrive in Goa on a day-long visit in the morning on Thursday and hold meeting with Congress leaders at the Goa International Centre. He would also brief the state Congress leaders on the direct cash transfer policy of the Centre besides addressing the national executive committee meeting of the National Students Union of India in the afternoon.
Most of the Congress leaders were expecting that their central leader would come to their rescue and guide them to "safety" following the rout of the party in the last assembly elections, but there were no indications that any major action or decision would be taken by Mr Gandhi in the near future.
The state Congress president, Mr Subhash Shirodkar, however, said that the visit of the number two in the Congress party at the national level would enthuse and galvanise the Congress workers in Goa to work more forcefully for the party. Besides, Mr Gandhi’s visit is definitely going to influence the party rank and file to work more dedicatedly for the cause of party and take its policies to the people and ensure better showing at the next elections, stated Mr Shirodkar adding that all the issues facing the state, including mining, would be taken up with Mr Gandhi.
Meanwhile, sources in the party said that the issue of discomfort in the party because of overzealousness of some state leaders would be taken up with Mr Gandhi, as also the issue of indiscipline. "Only unity, discipline and dedication can help the party to bounce back in the state," said a senior Congress leader adding that it would be in the interest of the party that Mr Gandhi should lay emphasis on these issues. [NT]