Google Hangout with Rahul Gandhi

Rahul Gandhi told worried party workers on Saturday that there was no question of Narendra Modi and the BJP coming to power, even as he described election surveys that have predicted that the Congress will get just 100 seats in Elections 2014 as a “joke”.

Using the ‘Google Hangout’ platform for the first time, Mr. Gandhi interacted with party workers from Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Maharashtra, Punjab and Kerala. He targeted the BJP, highlighting reports of an internal war within its ranks over conflicting claims by senior leaders over constituencies.

In battle mode, Mr. Gandhi said the Opposition’s campaign was aimed at demoralising the Congress. “If you are not demoralised, we shall smash them,” he said, urging party workers not to have self-doubt and go out and win “200-plus seats.”

Mr. Gandhi was responding to a question from a party worker what the Congress would do if it got only about 100 seats.

He, however, admitted that the party leadership did not listen to its cadres and involve them as much as it should.

Party sources told The Hindu that the 90-minute interaction on Google Hangout was intended to allow party workers to speak to Mr. Gandhi “without intermediaries,” removing the physical barriers that often blocked a frank exchange.

On Sunday, IT pioneer Sam Pitroda and MoS Sachin Pilot will be “In conversation with Young India” at another Google Hangout. Indeed, the party intends to use the platform for more such direct interactions between party leaders and the people/party workers.

Mr. Gandhi used the social media platform on Saturday to pump some fire into party workers. He told activists from Punjab to spread the word among people in the State that Sikh farmers were being beaten up and chased away from Gujarat, even though the BJP had an alliance with the Shiromani Akali Dal in Punjab.

Asked how the Congress should fight communal forces if Mr. Modi and his party came to power, Mr. Gandhi said: “We are going to win the next election. Therefore, the BJP coming to power, their leader coming to power, is a non-question.”

To questions over groupism in the Punjab unit of the Congress and whether he could ensure party workers a say in candidates selection, Mr. Gandhi said his primaries project was a step in that direction.

Praising Adhir Ranjan Chaudhary, he said he had sent him as PCC chief of West Bengal as he knew he was rooted in the ground and would fight for party workers.

Mr. Gandhi used the occasion to pay tributes to Chhattisgarh PCC chief Nand Kumar Patel, who was killed in a Maoist ambush.

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Printable version | Sep 23, 2021 3:59:47 AM |

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