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Updated: December 23, 2010 04:14 IST

Battle for State not going to be easy: Rahul

G. Sathyamoorthi
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Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi speaks at a meeting with the elected office-bearers of Youth Congress in Chennai on Wednesday. Photo: Special Arrangement
Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi speaks at a meeting with the elected office-bearers of Youth Congress in Chennai on Wednesday. Photo: Special Arrangement

Beginning a two-day exercise to assess the mood of the Congress cadres in Tamil Nadu, All India Congress Committee general secretary Rahul Gandhi interacted with grassroots-level leaders of the party on Wednesday in Chennai, Villupuram and Madurai.

“How many of you are happy with the politics in Tamil Nadu?” he asked a gathering in Chennai of elected office-bearers of the Youth Congress from the panchayat, Assembly and parliamentary constituency levels. On seeing a few hands go up, he tossed the next question: “How many of you are unhappy with the politics in Tamil Nadu?” This time, a number of hands shot up. “I just wanted to check,” Mr. Gandhi said.

Mr. Gandhi promised the maximum number of seats possible for Youth Congress representatives at the next Assembly election. “Though I will not be able to specify the percentage of seats, my heart goes out to say that you will get the maximum number of seats. At the same time, you should not forget that there are elderly Congressmen also.”

Mr. Gandhi, who arrived here from New Delhi at about 10.30 a.m., reached the venue of the meeting at Vanagaram, a suburb, by helicopter. He spoke for about 15 minutes and then threw the stage open for questions.

Urging the office-bearers to concentrate on the growth of the party at the panchayat level, he said the Communists in Kerala and the Dravidian parties in Tamil Nadu could do well at the hustings because their party was strong at the panchayat level.

He said that the Youth Congress all over the country did not give much importance to panchayat leaders. “For me, the most important level is the panchayat and if you cannot win at that level you cannot be the type of leader that the Youth Congress needs in the future.”

“The real challenge for the Youth Congress is panchayat elections. I want Youth Congressmen to win as many seats as possible in the panchayat elections to be conducted during October next.”

Relationship with Tamil Nadu

Mr. Gandhi asserted that it was not enough to keep the doors open for youngsters. “You should respect their views and provide for their future.” Describing his family's relationship with Tamil Nadu as “very old and close,” he said: “If the people of Tamil Nadu decide to do something, they do it.”

“The future leadership of the State is going to come from the Youth Congress,” he said. But, he added, “the battle for Tamil Nadu is not going to be easy. Building the Congress party which has been out of power for 40 years is going to take time.”

He advised the partymen to be ready to “work systematically” to bring the Congress back to power in the State. He held similar meetings in Villupuram and Madurai too. In Villupuram, he said he wished for the political resurgence of Dalits. Through conscious efforts, Dalits who are denied due share in governance can change the situation. Dalits should strengthen the Congress at the grassroots level, he said.

“Win local body polls”

Interacting with Youth Congress functionaries at a meeting in Madurai, Mr. Gandhi exhorted the volunteers to win in the next panchayat elections. “You win [a] majority and see what happens,” he said. Mr. Gandhi said that at present it was not in a position to play the role of a major partner in alliance “because you are not strong.”

He asked the party workers to forget what had happened in the last 40 years when either of the two Dravidian parties ruled the State. The Congress would regain power in future, he predicted.

all those who talk about DMK loosing power are in distant dream or too naive. the welfare measure of this govt is too big and broad that it wont erode peoples faith in DMK whether spectrum presumptive loss or anything else. because we don't have better alternative compare to AIADMK or PMK which changes its color like chameleon dmk IS FAR BETTER.
look at the development and work from metro rails , flrover to appointment of teachers too 2500 govt lecturers, color tv to library to health scheme not to talk about 1 ripee rice to eleveted flyover to 3laneing of highways from chennai to kanyakumar it to free tution fee for first generation engg learners many welfare schemes is far better.
AIAMDK which banned and suspended govt staff and banned conversion now talks about secularism and christian faith. where was hse for last 5 YEARS IN HYDERABAD AND OOTY AND KOODANAD, now election time she has started making noise. about spectrum a.raja is not the only culprit, about 1.76 its presumptive , its cant be this mush it may be around 20 thousand rupees. because this 1.76 is based on 3g rate. how cna u apply 3G rate for 2 G which is only voice but 3 G is voice data and video.look at the lady who arrested and dismissed lacs of govt staff and made anti conversion law etc talk about secularism and just todays oppesed all charges. we all know the double face of PMK and AIADMK.
nothing can change DMK because its better than AIADMK. PLEASE TELL ME THE ONE good scheme of AIADMK. DMK is going to win this election too,

from:  james peter raj
Posted on: Dec 30, 2010 at 22:04 IST

We have witnessed so far how the DMK and the AIDMK had run the Government. No one can deny the stupendous developments in Tamil Nadu in construction of a large number of bridges/flyovers/subways etc. during DMK rule, which have gone a long way in helping the State develop very much economically. Lapses are definitely there in every majority party's government, but it is a question of degree. Voters should think seriously and select a party which would continue to take the State forward on all fronts. Petty politics should be avoided. Seasonal increase of prices of vegetables is a fleeting one due to factors like heavy rains, flash strikes by fleet owners etc. When one party which is not in power accuses the ruling party of corruption, it should introspect to see whether they were/are free of corruption. I don't say corruption should be recognised, but trying to coming to power accusing the others as corrupt does not help. May the Almighty help the State in selecting a party which has the welfare of people at heart and executes various projects for the people's welfare to retain/improve the name being enjoyed by TAMIL NADU.

from:  J MANOHAR SINGH
Posted on: Dec 29, 2010 at 13:10 IST

Not sure if Congress could assess its own strenght in TN. Heard the crowd at Rahul's meet was below expectation. The problem with the party is that it has too many leaders having their own group, say and ambitions and very little cadres. Lack of organisation at even the second level is going to be a problem and stands very far in terms of orgnisational strength compared to either DMK or ADMK. I am sure they would not win a considerable seat. So the so called senior would advocate for aliance so that they could win - unmindful of the future of the party. Little scope for the party in TN

from:  Sampath
Posted on: Dec 24, 2010 at 15:55 IST

The countdown has now begun for a break-up between the DMK and the Congress. The 2G spectrum is the last straw that made the trick possible. Rahul has also been advocating the 'go it alone' policy in various states. What is outcome of this break-in-alliance? To start with, the Congress will have to decide about its future alliance strategy! Should it align with another Dravidian party, viz. AIADMK? Will its opt for an alliance either with DMDK and or with PMK? The best course will be to keep both the Dravidian parties away from the Congress. Eventually, whichever, the party the Congress, chooses or even of it opts to stand alone and face the election, the Congress party is not going to gain much in the poll front. Therefore the best option for the party will be to 'stand alone' and assess its real strength among the voters. If need be, it can accommodate minor parties with it and leave all the Dravidian parties as well as the PMK and DMDK out of it poll orbit. Unfortunately, 2G spectrum is a major black mark for both the Congress and DMK. It is bound to affect the prospects of both the Congress and the DMK. Congress cannot completely wash off it hands - be it with DMK or AIADMK or stands alone. Hence the 2011 election results may not give rich dividend to the Congress but it way will pave the way for capturing power in 2016. As far as 2011 poll outcome is concerned it will still be a wide open. At this point no one can categorically say as to who would win. At the macro level the break in DMK will create a ripple effect at the Centre. The severity of this would manifest in different form depending upon as to who will forms Government in Tamil Nadu in May 2011!

from:  R. Bhakther Solomon
Posted on: Dec 23, 2010 at 10:22 IST

The visit of Mr.Rahul to Madurai is a happy occasion in Tamilnadu political History. we people of Devendra kula velalar community(dalits) whole heartedly welcome the speech deliverd by rahulji.Further being a congres suporter my humble submission is that nearly 50,lahs voters of Devedrakulavelalar community people in Tamil Nadu were still not organised .If the congres party organised these people in 2011 definitly it will rule Tamil Nadu. These Devendra people were not given any importance either in DMK or in AIADMK. Now we can ensure unity of tehse people expecting your help and further we assure that if we are given importance in the party we will support and strengthern the Hands of Rahulji and the congres party. We expect your advices please.

from:  T. Jeyachandran
Posted on: Dec 23, 2010 at 09:56 IST
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