Sonia brings back her trusted lieutenants to clean up the mess left by Rahul’s hand-picked men in screening of candidates for party tickets.

New Delhi :  The gross election mismanagement by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s handpicked leaders in  poll-bound states has finally compelled party president Sonia Gandhi to intervene and bring back the old guards led by her trusted political secretary Ahmed Patel to take the command.

General secretary Digvijay Singh, a former Madhya Pradesh chief minister, is another senior leader asked by Sonia to clean the mess created by two general secretaries – Mohan Prakash who is incharge of the Madhya Pradesh affairs and Madhusudan Mistry who was chairman of the screening committee for selection of candidates for the assembly election in the state.

Sonia summoned the election managers and leaders of the party in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh and chastised them for not getting their act together and playing politics within the party instead of taking on the BJP unitedly.

Party sources said Sonia had left the poll management entirely to her son Rahul, but she decided to step in after getting reports of the mismanagement in the candidates” selection, political management, coordination, campaign and crowd mobilisation.

A realisation dawned on her belatedly that things have been messed up by the people who were given

crucial responsibilities by Rahul despite their inadequate experience in the poll management. She decided to take matters in her hands and asked Ahmed Patel, who had been totally ousted by the Rahul brigade from the election exercise, to oversee the political management in the poll-bound states.

Sources say Sonia’s decision to take control of the poll management in her hands from Rahul came after she were anguished over a ticket aspirant, Narsingh Malviya, for the Agar seat in Madhya Pradesh committed suicide. She summoned all the senior leaders of the state for an emergency meeting here early this week, including the state”s incharge general secretary Mohan Prakash and Mistry.

Mohan Prakash and Mistry quietly heeded to Ahmed Patel and Digvijay Singh sitting together to review the list of the Madhya Pradesh candidates and order change of ten candidates who had made it in the earlier lists.

The development comes on the heels of six MPs from Madhya Pradesh barging into a screening committee meeting being held here under Mistry”s chairmanship. They abused and roughed up Mistry over not consulting them when he tried to browbeat them, asking them to go and complain to Rahul.

Not only these MPs but other senior leaders were also angry with Mistry and Mohan Prakash shortlisting the candidates without consulting them. They pointed out to Sonia that the candidates were being selected at the instance of Mohan Prakash despite the fact that it was wrong selection of the candidates by him in Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections as the screening committee chairman that the party was routed in the state.

Sources said Sonia was also concerned over comparatively poor attendance in Rahul”s rallies as compared to BJP leader Narendra Modi”s rallies attracting huge crowds. She is also believed to have advised Rahul not to limit his speeches to 10 to 15 minutes as that does not sway the masses. She was particularly worried over no big crowds in Rahul”s public meetings in Uttar Pradesh as she reportedly told Mistry, the general secretary incharge of the state, to take help of the union ministers and MPs for mobilising crowds if they want to continue these rallies. A meeting was held here on Saturday at 10 Janpath to discuss the issue of the crowd mobilisation.

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