Gandhi urges Youth Congress to target panchayat polls

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

CHENNAI - Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi Wednesday urged Tamil Nadu Youth Congress members to start working at the panchayat level and capture power at the local bodies.

Gandhi arrived here Wednesday on a two-day visit to Tamil Nadu to enthuse more youth and women to join the party’s youth wing.

He was accorded a warm reception by state Congress Chief K.V. Thankabalu and other leaders at the airport.

Later, addressing Youth Congress officials here, Gandhi said: “I want all of you to work hard for the panchayat elections so that the party wins maximum number of seats.”

Gandhi said once the youth wing succeeds in the local elections, the party would train them to be successful at assembly polls.

According to him, the future chief minister of Tamil Nadu may be from the youth wing if the party is strengthened at the grassroot level.

While not committing any number of assembly seats for the Youth Congress members in the ensuing assembly elections, Gandhi said the maximum number of seats will be allotted to the youth.

Stressing that the Congress has been out of power in Tamil Nadu for more than four decades, he said the party could be strengthened only from the grassroot level and cited the examples of the communist parties in Kerala and the two Dravidian parties DMK and AIADMK in Tamil Nadu.

On the problem of rising vegetable prices, he said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is addressing the issue.

Though the state youth wing officials expressed their unhappiness with the state of politics in Tamil Nadu, Gandhi gave no indication of any change in the Congress’ equations with the DMK.

The Youth Congress in Tamil Nadu is 1.4 million strong. Party officials told IANS that they are now focusing on increasing the membership base.

Gandi’s tour comes against the backdrop of the probe into the 2G spectrum scam intensifying with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Dec 15 raiding a host of people associated with disgraced former communications minister Andimuthu Raja and an NGO linked to DMK MP Kanimozhi - Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi’s daughter.

–Indo Asian News Service

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