Rahul’s team feels voter pulse

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It may be early, but the Congress party has seemingly entered into election mode already. Rahul Gandhi has deputed a four-member team to TN to assess the party’s prospe­cts in 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

The four-member team comprising Congress functionaries Ms Ganga Bha­vani and C. R. Bhadra Raju from Andhra Pradesh, P.V.P. Dhappan and George from Kerala have already started eliciting views of district Congress and frontal organization functionaries, former and sitting MPs and MLAs in all the 39 Parliamentary constituencies.

The participating party men were issued a six-page questionnaire and asked to suggest their choice of Congress MP candidate and probable candidates of other parties, including DMK, for Parliament seats. Besides enquiring about poll strategies, the team had also asked functionaries to highlight the most pressing problem that needs immediate attention in all LS seats.

“We also furnished information about the total electorate and castewise vote bank in a Lok Sabha seat,” an ex-MP who took part in the meeting said.

Alliance issues were also discussed in the in-camera meeting. Congress leaders who took part in the meet said they had insisted on finalising the alliance, be it with DMK or AIADMK, early lest the party would suffer one its worst routs in the state.

The team members had no shortage of ‘amusement’, for many participating Congressmen asked seats for themselves, remarked an ex-MLA preferring anonymity. “The DMK is drifting away. If the high command wishes to have a tie-up with them, it should start damage control exercise immediately. If 10 Janpath wishes to tag along with AIADMK, they should stop antagonising Ms Jayalalithaa,” the ex-MP quoted many party men as saying. The functionaries also requested the team to urge the high command to immediately appoint office-bearers for TNCC.

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