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Give voters' greater say in choice of candidates: Rahul Gandhi

Give voters greater say in choice of candidates: Rahul Gandhi

Thrissur: Ruing that in many states it is a selected few who decide on distribution of tickets, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said that political parties should reflect the voters' views in the choice of candidates for Lok Sabha and Assembly elections.

Stressing that his aim was "to make Congress more accessible to all, as much as possible", he said in certain states like Uttar Pradesh "one person decides all the candidates."

On a day-long tour of Kerala mainly to know about its experience in decentralised development through local bodies, the Congress leader briefly addressed the 'gram sabha' in a Panchayat near here and participated in an interactive workshop at Kerala Institute of Local Administration (KILA), which offers training programmes for civic body members and officials.

"Before the elections you have CPI(M) candidate and Congress candidate...But you have no voice to decide who becomes CPI(M) candidate, who becomes Congress candidate..," he told a village assembly of a ward at Adat Panchyat.

"The most important thing for a political party is to bring in everybody's voice. In certain states like UP one person decides all the candidates before polls.. Political parties should tell the people who are their candidates," he said.

Holding that "many processes in political parties are hidden from the people," he said "if the processes are concealed people can say anything... Even if the parties fared well people would have doubts if the processes are not transparent."

Earlier, during his interaction at KILA, he said all parties should adopt decentralisation as a key organisational concept to ensure that they reflect the will of the people at the grass root level.

Interacting with a group of 20 elected representatives of different civic bodies KILA here, Gandhi said Congress would step up the process of consultation of grass root level functionaries in the coming days.

Lauding Kerala's initiatives in decentralised planning and development being carried out through the three-tier Panchayats and other civic bodies, Gandhi said "it is worthy of emulation by other states."

Gandhi, who arrived this morning, spent about 90-minutes at the institute, mostly listening to views of the participants and the presentation on "decentralisation and participatory planning."

He said he would suggest his party functionaries in other states to send teams to attend programmes at KILA.

He also addressed Congress workers at Pattambi and Malappuram, giving a patient hearing to suggestions and grievances of the party workers.

The meeting in Malappuram presided over by District Congress Committee President E Mumammed Kunhi lasted for over an hour.

Gandhi told the meeting that he had come to listen to their grievances, sources said.

About 70 party leaders, including DCC office-bearers, block presidents, attended the meeting.

AICC General Secretary Madhusudan Mistry, looking after party affairs in Kerala, KPCC President Ramesh Chennichala and Wayanad MP M I Shanavaz accompanied Gandhi.


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