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Not quite working

Not quite working

Author: Subhash Mishra
Publication: India Today
Date: February 18, 2008
URL: http://indiatoday.digitaltoday.in/index.php?option=com_content&Itemid=1&task=view&id=4325&sectionid=23&issueid=39&latn=2

Senior Congress leaders in Uttar Pradesh are a worried lot. They say the people in the state may have brought BSP's Mayawati back in power with an absolute majority but there is a lot which the Opposition can use to its advantage.

For instance,they say, farmers are committing suicide, industrial growth has hit a nadir, eastern parts of the state are swathed in acute poverty and power shortage is hampering development but despite such talking points for attacking the Government, all that the Gandhi scion and MP from Amethi, Rahul Gandhi, has done so far is to make a brief visit to Bundelkhand to appease its drought-stricken populace.

The young leader on whom his party has pinned all its hopes in Uttar Pradesh is certainly not burning the midnight's oil working out a strategy to revive the party's fortunes in BSPruled Maya land.

Instead, this AICC general secretary is busy playing games of a different kind-like paragliding in Pune. His idea of reaching out to the youth is organising a cricket match.

"Rahul will spend nearly a week in March to watch a cricket tournament in Amethi," says a senior state Congress leader. He says he is disappointed at the way Rahul is "ignoring" the state which has 80 Lok Sabha constituencies, the highest in India.

"Paragliding and cricket will not revive the party's fortunes," says a former UPCC president.

Congress leaders cite examples of leaders like former chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav who recently took to the streets in protest against the BSP Government.

"In the late 1970s when the Congress was faltering, Sanjay Gandhi led protests against the government. The party was back in power within three years. Today's leaders can't shed their comforts which will prove to be the party's doom," says a state Congress leader. Time for the young Gandhi to take notice.

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