Rahul Gandhi Set to Tone Up Cong Party's Functioning
One-line resolutions from states authorising the Congress high command to decide candidates in elections could be a thing of the past with Rahul Gandhi set to tone up the functioning of the party.

Congress sources said Rahul, who has called a meeting of PCC presidents and CLP leaders here on February 15, could instead ask for elaborate procedures to make ticket distribution a foolproof affair.

This will be the first meeting Rahul will have with state leaders after his elevation as the Congress vice-president. He has often lamented about the absence of rules and regulations governing the organisation.

Consultations by the Congress vice-president are expected to be a day-long affair at a time when party men have been increasingly voicing concern over the ticket distribution process.

The meeting assumes significance as Assembly elections of nine states, including Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Delhi, are scheduled this year and Lok Sabha elections are not far away.

The Jaipur Declaration, which was evolved at the recently concluded 'chintan shivir' of the party, has made a strong case for an overhaul of the ticket distribution system.

"Nepotism in the organisation's structure is a cause of great concern and there is a need to arrest this tendency firmly," it had said, insisting that there must be a robust and efficient system for monitoring and appraising performance of the party functionaries on a regular basis.

The Declaration held, "It is of utmost importance that when senior party leaders recommend particular candidates they must own responsibility in case of failure."

Another key decision at the 'chintan shivir' was that winnability alone should not be the benchmark for deciding nominees of the party during elections and a balance is required between loyalty and winnability.

It was also decided at Jaipur that the party would push for closer integration between the parent party and its various frontal organisations.

As part of efforts to build up a new leadership at various levels, the AICC has already decided that the number of terms for presidents of the PCC and DCC should be restricted to two and the tenure of each term should be not more than three years.

It has also resolved to constitute all BCCs and DCCs in a time-bound manner.

Rahul is expected to apprise himself with the various problems being faced by the party in different states to help understand the steps needed to tone up the organisations there.

Soon after being made the Vice-President, he has held three rounds of consultations with AICC office bearers.

Though Congress is in power in a dozen odd states, Andhra Pradesh is the only major state where it has a government on its own. Problems have cropped up there due to the Telangana issue and emergence of the YSR Congress.

Congress is out of power for several years in major states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu.

The party is out of power for more than three decades in West Bengal though it was in the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress government for a brief period.
Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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