Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi is getting a taste of intense factionalism from party MPs from different states.

First it was the turn of the Haryana MPs to speak out openly in Rahul’s presence about their factional problems, and on Wednesday the Madhya Pradesh Congress MPs repeated the same.

According to sources, the Congress vice-president observed this display of the party tradition with ‘amusement’ and seemed to savour these exchanges. But then it was not just mere factionalism on display.

There was some candid talk as well, as the MPs gave their frank assessment of the political situation prevailing in their respective states. ” Unless, things change drastically, we are facing an uphill task in Madhya Pradesh,” said a veteran MP at the meeting referring to the odds faced by the party in tackling the challenge posed by a well-entrenched BJP.

It was pointed out by the MP that practically nothing had been done to woo the sections-tribals, minorities and dalits-the traditional support base of the party that has been eroded by the advent of players like the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Gondwana Gantantra Party.

“This is not a state where merely by appointing a tribal or a Dalit we can hope to win back their support. This state is not accustomed to working on such sectarian lines-like UP or Bihar. Only if a leader is capable, will he be able to take all the sections along with him,” the MP said.

Many MPs were very vocal about their neglect by senior union ministers.” We have not been able to meet some cabinet ministers for the problems in our constituencies even once in the last four years, after seeking several appointments,” said a first-term MP. The MPs also complained of being ignored by cabinet ministers from their own state.

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