Sonia again meets Pande, empowers him to crack whip on loose cannons

Political appointments will be made by mid-December: Pande

New Delhi: In one more 40-minute-long strategic meeting with Congress President Sonia Gandhi at 10 Janpath on Thursday morning, the powerful Rajasthan Congress General Secretary Incharge Avinash Pande was further empowered by the lady Congress President to crack the whip against Congress party members who give statements against their own government and try to corner it. Pande has been imbibed with the exalted powers to take the strictest actions against those who show indiscipline towards the government.

Notably, only in the recent past, Deputy Chief Minister and PCC Chief Sachin Pilot had cornered the state government on the issue of law and order, on BSP MLAs being inducted in the Congress party and prominently against the hybrid model right before the assembly by-polls in Rajasthan. His voice was echoed by few ministers as well which had caused a concern at the High command as the internal dissension was out in the open. Pilot later met the Congress President and put forward his point of view. Notably, Pande also shares Gehlot’s concern on the likely damage to the party due to such negative remarks by his own ministers.

“The Congress President has registered her dissent over the matter and has asked the leaders to speak with CM Gehlot, PCC Chief or me about any concerns and not to speak with the media about these issues. Now effective action will be taken against those who break the party’s discipline and a discipline committee will be formed wherein even the senior-most leaders will not be exempted,” Pande said while speaking to First India.

Meanwhile, during the meeting, Pande assured the Congress President that utmost efforts are being made to cement the bond between the “power” and organization while a discussion was also held between Sonia and Pande over the local body elections. “The candidates for the local body elections were discussed and I informed her that the selection has been done properly. We also gave her feedback over the agitations which started from November 5 and the state-wide agitation in Rajasthan on November 11,” Pande said, further adding, “The Congress President has also given directions to make the political appointments soon and we have informed her that the process will be completed by November 30 and the report of the same will be submitted to her by mid-December.”

The Congress will get into a huddle and brain-storm on November 10 as the all important meeting of the Congress Working Committee will be held wherein the party will come out with strategy to corner the Modi government, the current situation in the country and upcoming decisions of the Supreme Court but most importantly “to ensure the people that a united and strong opposition is there for them and working for them”. Moreover, as previously assured by Pande, a meeting of the BSP MLAs who joined Congress with the Congress President will be held in the days to come. “Due to various appointments and busy schedule, the Congress President could not meet the MLAs but soon the meeting will be scheduled,” Pande said.

While Pande is now more focussed on Rajasthan, it cannot be denied that he played an active and crucial role in the grand-old party’s spearheading the Maharashtra elections and making inroads in the saffron bastion. In fact, it is a re-emergence of Pande in the political and governance circles of Rajasthan Congress government, boosted by the thumping result the party garnered under his aegis in the Maharashtra elections.