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In Upcoming Assembly Polls, Congress to Depend on Local Leadership

The photo finish for Ahmed Patel in the recently concluded Rajya Sabha Election in Gujarat once again proved that regional leaders, when left to contest on their own, could reap maximum dividends for the party. Sources say the central leadership of Congress may meddle little from now.

Pallavi Ghosh | CNN-News18pallavighcnnibn

Updated:August 19, 2017, 2:14 PM IST
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In Upcoming Assembly Polls, Congress to Depend on Local Leadership
File photo of Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi. (Image: PTI)
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New Delhi: The Congress is laying down the foundation for the upcoming Assembly elections in Gujarat, Karnataka and Himachal Pradesh, and it's near certain that local leaders will be entrusted with maximum responsibilities.

The photo finish for Ahmed Patel in the recently concluded Rajya Sabha Election in Gujarat once again proved that regional leaders, when left to contest on their own, could reap maximum dividends for the party. Sources told CNN-News18 the central leadership of Congress may meddle little from here onward.

Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh is another example for Congress, and in states - Karnataka, Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh - slated to go to polls later this year, the party campaign will be mainly led by the state leaders. Party Vice-President Rahul Gandhi's campaign will be planned strategically and his role is expected to be minimal, a source said.

Amid this manthan came another big blow to the Congress party when a key member, Ashish Kulkarni, of the Congress war room resigned. In his resignation, Kulkarni raised several points, including the constant demand to bring Priyanka into active politics was a deliberate and planned strategy to malign Rahul's leadership.

Kulkarni added that party's anti-Hindu slant and NGO-style functioning was detrimental to its prospects and the Congress needed to work on improving these aspects. "Fed up of nepotism," Kulkarni said, he resigned because of "continuous resistance to giving new and young people a chance".

Congress is on the threshold of a change of guard, but the latest resignation, though not very high-profile, nonetheless points as the malaise within.
| Edited by: Mirza Arif Beg
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