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Get cracking for Bihar polls, Sonia tells new office-bearers

Source: PTI
June 05, 2010 21:25 IST
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With Assembly elections in Bihar approaching fast, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Saturday asked the party unit to get cracking.

Sonia gave the direction to PCC chief Mehboob Ali Kaiser, AICC general secretary in-charge for Bihar Mukul Wasnik and AICC secretary in-charge Sagar Rayaka when they met her three days after their appointment.

Seeking to galvanise the party in the poll-bound state, Sonia had on June 2 removed PCC chief Anil Sharma and AICC in-charge Jagdish Tytler and brought in a Muslim face as the new party chief.

Wasnik, who is Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, is a Dalit.

The Bihar unit of Congress had been witnessing internal feud with Sharma and Tytler at loggerheads and a number of controversies dogging the organisation.

"We have been directed to get down to work as time is short," Kaiser said when asked what Sonia told them at the meeting.

The dates for the Bihar Assembly elections are likely to be announced around October this year. Kaiser said he has been assured of support from all sections.

On the party's strategy in the state, where the Congress has been out of power for around two decades, Rayaka said a number of young leaders would be given tickets as youths are motivated after AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi's visit to the state.

Women will also be given priority in ticket distribution, Rayaka said.

A section of party leaders wanted that Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, a prominent Dalit face, be made either PCC chief or projected as the chief ministerial candidate.

The Congress has announced that it will go alone in the state after it ended the alliance with RJD headed by Lalu Prasad.

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