Gujarat Cong sees hope of resurgence after Rahul visit

Ahmedabad: Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi's visit has revived the hope of overhaul of an almost defunct state party unit which has been demoralised by successive poll defeats at the hands of Narendra Modi-led BJP.

Gandhi, after his two-day visit to the state last week, has given a call for 'change of environment' in the state unit of the party to revive it, sources said.

"After his visit, the atmosphere in the party has changed and workers are hopeful of a revival which is very much needed to take on BJP in the 2014 elections," Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi said.

Following an interaction with taluka and district-level party workers, Rahul had hinted of strong measures so to help the party take up the challenge of the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections, he said.

"It's for the first time that after successive defeats at the hand of BJP a leader of stature of Rahul Gandhi has directly interacted and listened to the problems of taluka and district-level workers," the spokesperson added.

It was learnt that during his two-day state visit, last week, Gandhi had publicly accepted that the successive defeats of Congress in Gujarat were due to internal bickering.

"Rahul gave a clear message to change the environment of Congress here. He has told that those working hard for the party will come up and those trying to find short cuts for success will be sidelined… He has clearly said that no indiscipline will be tolerated," Doshi said.

Interestingly, the Congress leader had not allowed state leaders like GPCC president Arjun Modhvaida, leader of opposition Shankarsinh Vaghela and others like Shaktisinh Gohil and Siddarth Patel during the meeting so that the workers could openly air their opinion, sources said.

"He also added that 2014 polls or any election is not do or die for the party. The party needs to be strengthened which will bring election victories as a by-product," Doshi said, expressing Rahul Gandhi's view.