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Last Tuesday evening, as Rahul Gandhi interacted with party office-bearers at the Congress headquarters, the proceedings sounded familiar. Senior leaders such as Girija Vyas and Rashid Alvi couldn't stop praising the new Vice-President for his "moving" speech in Jaipur. Vyas recounted how she had gone to a village and young boys were talking about his speech and crying. Alvi was gushing about how the speech had touched the hearts of people.
Eulogy over, Rahul pondered for a while and said, "It was not a speech. I spoke what I saw." He then went on to name senior leaders, seeking their help and guidance. Veterans returned from the meeting reassured that the young Vice-President had no superannuation plans for them. Congress sources said that the young Vice-President was set to focus on rebuilding the organisation and that he had drawn up plans to implement the democratisation process in the parent party, introducing elections down to district- and block-level Congress committees. He also plans to come up with a system of accountability in the organisation whereby if a leader has nominated somebody for a party ticket in the organisation, he would be held accountable for the results.
Style of leadership
Since his induction as AICC general secretary in charge of the Youth Congress and NSUI in September 2007, Rahul has been functioning from his residence at 12, Tughlaq Lane. The coordination between his office and the AICC headquarters was minimal and need-based. While he roped in young MPs such as Harish Chowdhury, Deepender Hooda and Sandeep Dikshit, among others, for specific assignments, the formal set-up in his office mainly had non-political youngsters led by Kanishka Singh. Now that Rahul has become party Vice-President and is set to have regular coordination and interaction with senior leaders, party leaders are anxiously waiting to see his style of functioning.
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