Our lead­ers are ego­is­tic, snooty: Cadre to Rahul

DNA (Daily News & Analysis) Mumbai Edition - - FRONT PAGE - DNA Correspondent correspondent@dnain­dia.net

New Delhi: Congress Pres­i­dent Rahul Gandhi faced a tough time with 140 district unit chiefs on Fri­day, who com­plained about in­dis­ci­pline in party cadres and high­lighted ego is­sues and lob­by­ing of se­nior lead­ers that plague the party ranks.

Sources said when Rahul was stress­ing on the need for the party to gain ac­cep­tance from all sec­tions of the so­ci­ety, one district unit chief af­ter an­other started nar­rat­ing their ex­pe­ri­ences with in­dis­ci­plined cadres and in­dif­fer­ent se­nior lead­ers.

Fol­low­ing this, Rahul had a tele­phonic in­ter­ac­tion and video con­fer­ences with party mem­bers, in­clud­ing district heads, to get a ground-level feed­back. They then com­plained that since of­fice bear­ers in blocks and tehsils are ap­pointed on rec­om­men­da­tions of se­nior lead­ers, they pay no heed to words of district pres­i­dents.

A district mem­ber of West Ben­gal’s Jal­paig­uri district unit said Congress lead­ers have a big ego and are un­in­ter­ested in meet­ing peo­ple, which af­fects the party agenda. He also re­quested Rahul to con­test elec­tions in West Ben­gal with­out any al­liance and crit­i­cised West Ben­gal Chief Min­is­ter Ma­mata Ban­er­jee’s ar­ro­gance towards Congress lead­ers.

Echo­ing sim­i­lar sen­ti­ments, a leader from Odisha said that se­nior lead­ers are in­ac­ces­si­ble. An­other top of­fi­cial from the party’s Waran­gal district unit in Te­lan­gana al­leged that se­nior party lead­ers do not care about them be­cause they have a lobby in Hy­der­abad and Delhi, and ticket dis­tri­bu­tion is de­cided on at that level.

Oth­ers in­sisted that he ver­i­fies and scru­ti­nises peo­ple who are ‘party hop­pers’, be­fore tak­ing them into the Congress fold.

Rahul in­sisted district chiefs to bring peo­ple who are mod­er­ate and sec­u­lar into the party net. “The Congress does not be­long to any one sect or caste, nor does it preach one ide­ol­ogy. It be­longs to all,” he said.

When a party leader com­plained that for years, Congress has not given district and block pres­i­dents the re­spon­si­bil­ity and re­spect they de­serve, Rahul as­sured them the sit­u­a­tion will change. “With­out you there is no party. I am go­ing to give you what you de­serve. I want you to feel em­pow­ered,” he said.

Rahul Gandhi met 140 Congress district unit chiefs on Fri­day

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