Rahul promises to stamp out infighting in Odisha Cong

Cuttack: Accusing the BJD government in Odisha of hijacking central funds, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday promised to stamp out infighting in the party in the state soon to brighten its prospects in the next general elections.

"Being in Delhi, it is our responsibility to work for Odisha and we are doing a lot... but it is a different matter that (chief minister) Naveen Patnaik is describing our (Centre) funds as their's," he told reporters, winding up his two-day visit to Odisha.

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Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi. AFP

Noting that people were aware of central funds being hijacked, he said allegations about infighting in the party in Odisha came to his notice during interactions with grassroots level leaders at Sambalpur and Cuttack.

"I can assure (you) that infighting will be sorted out within three months. There will be remarkable change in the party and unity among partymen," Rahul said.

To a query, the Congress leader said, "There is no magic wand with me but it is there in the Congress party. Change will follow when the inherent magic unfolds."

Maintaining that the prospects of Congress were very high in the next elections due in 2014, Rahul said partymen would have to work hard with dedication to improve performance.

Promising to accord due weightage to opinions of grassroots workers and leaders, the Amethi MP said, "Grassroots level leaders will not be sidelined. Larger voices will be heard."

Though there was an attempt by some BJD workers to display black flags at Cuttack, it was foiled, police said.

Members of Dongaria Kandh tribe visited the venue of Rahul's programme to draw his attention to their problems.

During a visit to Lanjigarh in Kandhamal district in 2010, he had told the tribesmen that he was their 'sipahi in Delhi Durbar'.

"Rahul's visit and his close interactions with grassroots leaders will go a long way in strengthening the party," Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee President Niranjan Patnaik said.

PTI

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