Chandigarh: Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi will interact with leaders of the faction-ridden Punjab unit here Thursday.

Punjab Congress president Pratap Singh Bajwa said Tuesday that Gandhi would meet and interact with state leaders to gear up the party for future elections.

The Punjab Congress is split into two major factions, one led by former chief minister and now Congress deputy leader in the Lok Sabha Amarinder Singh and the other led by Bajwa. Both leaders have openly criticised each other in recent months.

Bajwa said the immediate challenge before the party was the forthcoming local body elections.

“He (Gandhi) would invite suggestions from the leaders at various levels to chalk out the strategy to confront the Akali Dal-BJP combine,” Bajwa said, adding the “leaders from the grassroots level will be provided the opportunity to have free and frank discussion about the measures to strengthen the party”.

“The strategy to rev up the party for the 2017 assembly elections (in Punjab) would be discussed,” he said.

Among the leaders that Rahul Gandhi will meet are block and district presidents, members of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC), members of parliament, legislators and heads of frontal party organisations.

He will also meet farmer leaders from the Congress Kisan wing.

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