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Congress fears washout in Himachal

Wednesday, 26 December 2007 - 3:06am IST
The Congress’s woes are far from over. Come Friday, and their plight is expected to get worse as results of the Himachal Pradesh election start coming.

Party veterans urge central leadership to plug loopholes immediately


NEW DELHI: The Congress’s woes are far from over. Come Friday, and their plight is expected to get worse as results of the Himachal Pradesh election start coming. Nobody of any consequence in the party is giving it even a ghost of a chance to retain power in the state.


For a party still reeling from the effects of the rout in Gujarat, the loss of power in Himachal is bound to add to its troubles. Morale is at a low, the AICC leadership appears dispirited and senior Congress leaders are worried that if remedial measures are not taken soon enough, the party could be headed for serious trouble.
 
Congress heavyweights external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee and human resource department minister Arjun Singh are reported to have hinted as much at Monday’s introspection meeting called by party chief Sonia Gandhi. At the meeting, Mukherjee is said to have expressed concern at the party’s inability to come up with a strategy to counter the stridency of Modi. Singh felt that the party would have do some hard thinking and come with an effective strategy.


True to Congress tradition, nobody in the party is willing to speak about the subject on record, but privately several people point to the fact that little has been done by the leadership to work on the inadequacies in the organisation. “Our organisational weakness is nothing new.
 
Even the top leaders know it. But why was nothing done about it. We just wasted the past three years that we have been in power,” said a Congress veteran.


Even in the context of Gujarat, questions are being raised about why the  AICC dithered in appointing a PCC chief for the past three years. “Modi was planning for this election for the past five years. We started only a year ago,” said a Gujarat based leader.
 
There is a major section in the party, which feels that if the party hopes to do well in the general elections — due a year from now — the central leadership needs to act fast  to plug the loopholes. “We can no longer wish away our problems. Unless we recognise our weaknesses and apply the correctives we will continue to suffer,” said an AICC veteran.


j_ansari@dnaindia.net




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