Rahul Gandhi 'impressed' with functioning of Kerala's civic bodies

Rahul Gandhi 'impressed' with functioning of Kerala's civic bodies
Thrissur:  Holding that political parties should try to adopt decentralisation as a key organisational concept to ensure that they reflect the will of the people at the grass root level, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi today said he would do his best to put into operation this principle in his party.

Interacting with a group of 20 elected representatives of different civic bodies at the Kerala Institute of Local Administration (KILA) in Thrissur, Mr Gandhi said Congress would step up the process of consultation of grass root level functionaries in the coming days.

According to KILA sources, Mr Gandhi said this when some of the participants said parties seldom hold serious consultations with their grass root level workers and functionaries before deciding on candidates for Lok Sabha and assembly elections.

Some of them suggested that centrally-sponsored schemes should take into account the specifics of different states and Mr Gandhi promised that he would bring this matter to the notice of the authorities concerned.

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

Mr 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."

A top official of the institute said Mr Gandhi was "quite impressed" by the activities of KILA, which offers training programmes on local self-governance to elected representatives of civic bodies from different parts of the country.

Mr Gandhi said he would suggest his party functionaries in other states to send teams to attend programmes at KILA. Later, he also addressed a gram sabha at the nearby Adat village panchayat and focussed on the importance of decentralised planning and development and lauded the advances made by Kerala in that direction.

KILA Director P P Balan, senior members of the faculty and officials also spoke.

Later, Mr Gandhi also addressed meeting organised by the block Congress committee at Pattambi in neighbouring Palakkad district.

According to party sources, Mr Gandhi listened patiently organisational issues and grievances raised by the workers and said he would look into them.

Though KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala and district leaders had accompanied him, it was Rahul Gandhi alone who addressed the closed-door meeting held at the party's block committee office.

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