Digvijaya shoots a prescription, says overhaul Congress

New Delhi: Congress leader Digvijaya Singh on Friday called for "fresh ideas and fresh functioning style" to
revive the party, a day after he pitched for a "major surgery" in the organisation in wake of assembly poll defeats in Assam and Kerala and disappointing results in other states.

At the same time, the party general secretary vehemently refused contentions that Congress is down in the dumps saying these are times when right wing has an attraction but the "cycle" will change.

"We are into a time, when the right wing has an attraction... It's a cycle," he said, adding that Congress, which is left of the Centre, has undergone these cyclic changes in past as well.

Congress leader Digvijaya Singh. PTI

Congress leader Digvijaya Singh. PTI

Asked to explain his pitch for "major surgery", Singh said a number of reports to improve the state of affairs in the party were submitted to the leadership and it's time to implement those suggestions.

He recalled that after the 2014 general elections, a committee headed by AK Antony was set up to look into the issue (of Congress defeat). After discussions with leaders from states, it submitted a report.

"After that Rahul Gandhi discussed with every senior Congress man, who has been influential in the Congress party in past and present. After that he asked party general secretaries to discuss with state leaders," Singh recalled saying that the general secretaries submitted a report on the suggestions received to Sonia Gandhi way back on 28 February last year.

Noting that this particular proposal is already with the Congress President, Singh also recalled that there was a Future Challenges Group in 2005-06 under the Chairmanship of M Veerappa Moily.

"So we have to look at the present scenario and also at what should be our organisational structure, our campaign strategy, media strategy, role of social media, building leadership," he said.

He said that he thinks that after the report was submitted, the Congress President and Vice President "must sort of take a decision" and this is being discussed by all senior Congressmen.

"We have to think of fresh ideas, fresh campaign style and the fresh way of the functioning of Congress party... When I talk of major surgery, I mean some action need to be taken as per the suggestion given to the Congress President. This is time to concretise it," Singh said.

Amid a buzz in the party that Rahul could take over as party president sooner than later despite the "disappointing" results, Singh said this is the time that the younger generation has to take up responsibilities.

On Thursday, when the results of assembly elections in five states came out, Singh had tweeted, "Today's results are disappointing but not unexpected. We have done enough introspection, shouldn't we go for a Major Surgery?"

Dismissing suggestions that regional parties are becoming stronger and Congress is gradually being reduced to some third force, he said Congress will fight the ideology of the Sangh Parivar at the national level.

The refrain of party spokespersons has been that there is a need for introspection in the party to help set things right.

There have been no changes in the AICC secretariat since the last Lok Sabha polls in which the party had its worst-ever performance, securing just 44 seats in the 543-member House.

Digvijay's suggestion has come at a time when there is talk of the much-delayed reshuffle in the AICC secretariat likely to be carried out soon and indications are that Rahul could be elevated as party chief.


Published Date: May 20, 2016 08:27 pm | Updated Date: May 20, 2016 08:27 pm


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