Maharashtra-Haryana Assembly Elections

Don’t go beyond party line, warns Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi, PTI | Updated : 22 July 2013, 11:35 PM

In a signal that out-of-turn remarks will not be tolerated, Rahul Gandhi on Monday warned that those who go beyond the party line will face action.

"Spokespersons and panelists may have their individual views, but as party spokespersons and panelists you have to be within party line. We cannot go beyond party ideology. Those who go beyond will be noticed and action will be taken," Gandhi said.

Former Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi said that the party Vice-President made these remarks while inaugurating a meeting of party spokespersons and panelists at a time when Lok Sabha elections are less than a year away.

Gandhi's warning came on a day when the party disapproved of the remarks of party general secretary Shakeel Ahmed and party MP Rashid Masood that the 2002 Gujarat riots had led to the formation of terror outfit Indian Mujahideen (IM).

Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh, Union ministers Beni Prasad Verma and Jairam Ramesh have at several times been ticked off by the party leadership for their controversial remarks on various issues.

Gandhi also wanted partymen to be "very decent" in the language at a time when the trend of indecent language was catching on on the social media.

"We cannot do that. We are party of Mahatma Gandhi," the Congress vice-president is reported to have told the meeting.

Madhya Pradesh police have registered a case against Digvijay Singh for his alleged 'insensitive' tweet on children posted while the sodomy charges against former finance minister Raghavji came to light recently.

The complainant had underlined that the tweet of Singh in which he allegedly wrote "Baccha Baccha Ram Ka Raghavji Ke Kaam Ka" has hurt the majority community.

When party leaders from Gujarat noted how Narendra Modi's government dissiminates wrong information, Gandhi said that people may be spreading lies, but we will rely on truth. "We have to seek the truth," he said.     The meet addressed by Gandhi is being attended by 200 young and experienced party workers including five from each state, 16 from NSUI and youth Congress besides AICC national spokespersons and media panelists.

It is to showcase the achievements of the party to the people and take Congress view point to them on various issues. advanced technology in disseminating party's achievements and views.

Noting that spokesperson's words are taken as the party's view, the Congress vice president asked participants to think before they speak to maintain uniformity in party's responses on various issues.

Gandhi asked them to use the social media tools on the Internet like Facebook, Twitter and Whats App for spreading the Congress ideology effectively among people including the youth and the middle class.

Maintaining that the Congress is identified with Mahatma Gandhi and his values, he said that every party worker should behave accordingly and even if opposition parties engage in negative politics, they should be restrained in their responses and show dignity towards them "in true spirit of Congress culture".

"The import of Rahul Gandhi's address was that the party has to be ideology driven and not individual driven," said a young participant after the interaction.    

Addressing the participants on the Food Security Bill,Union Ministers Jairam Ramesh and K V Thomas and NSUI's first President Mohangopal told them to take the message of the key UPA bill to the electorate confidently.

A number of participants asked questions related to the issue of transparency in the implementation of the bill and concerns over the Public Distribution System (PDS) system.

There was also a session on social media separately in which the need for the partymen to be efficient in using these tools was emphasised.

First Published: Monday, July 22, 2013 06:13 PM
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