New Delhi: In a further indication of his increasing role in the day to day affairs of the Congress, Rahul Gandhi on Monday held separate meetings with party MPs from Delhi and Tamil Nadu in Parliament House, an exercise earlier done by party president Sonia Gandhi during every session.
The meeting, in which the Congress vice president stressed on a frank and open discussion on party-government affairs and underscored the need to take corrective measures in ticket distribution during elections, also saw some of the Delhi MPs blaming the defeat of Congress in the state Municipal polls in April 2012 on the trifurcation of MCD.
The division of the MCD was a contentious issue. Sources said Union Minister Ajay Maken said in the meeting that the decision to trifurcate the MCD benefited BJP, which romped home in the Municipal polls, routing the Congress. Maken is learnt to have said that the though the decision was administratively correct, it's timing was not right and it could have been done at a later stage.
West Delhi MP Mahabal Mishra said that the trifurcation has also created large number of small seats in Municipal areas due to which more number of rebels contest in any polls, another problem before the party, the sources said. Mishra also said that the regularisation of the 895 colonies done in September last year should have been announced in some grand party rally addressed by the central leaders including party chief Sonia Gandhi to make people realize that it happened due to efforts of the party.
"This could have got electoral dividents to the party," Mishra is learnt to have said in the meeting. 1639 colonies were given provisional regularisation certificate ahead of elections in 2008 by Congress President. Out of this 895 were regularised in September 2012.
The over 60 lakh population of Delhi in unauthorized colonies are traditional voters of Congress but they did not vote for the party in the Municipal polls in 2012 and this was attributed as a main reason for the crushing defeat of the Congress.