Rahul Gandhi holds marathon meeting to devise Punjab polls strategy

NEW DELHI(PTI): Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi tonight held a marathon meeting with the leaders from Punjab to plan the party’s strategy for the 2017 state Assembly elections.

The meeting which started around 7 PM continued for over four hours and was also attended by poll strategist Prashant Kishor.
All prominent leaders from the state, including former PCC chiefs Partap Singh Bajwa, Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Shamsher Singh Dullo and senior party leader Ambika Soni and MPs and ex-MPs, attended the meeting, senior leader Jagmit Singh Brar was conspicuous by his absence.

Around 30 state leaders were also present during the meet.
Sources said the party discussed it’s plans on how to counter AAP which is a growing force in the state and mooted ways to reach out to the targeted electorate especially the youth.
Today’s meeting comes in the wake of a similar session with Uttar Pradesh leaders with Kishore on March 2.
Congress has been out of power in Punjab for the past decade and to end this “bad patch”, the party and Rahul Gandhi are working hard to wrest back power.
Sources said that the party will try and woo it’s traditional vote bank of dalits and the marginalised sections and also focus on youth and women.
The party would chalk out plans of holding interactions with youth and various other sections in the coming months, the sources said.
PCC chief Amarinder Singh later said the the meeting was aimed at discussing the poll strategy and evolve plans for the party’s campaign ahead.
Various leaders also gave their suggestions aimed at wooing the masses and countering the growing influence of AAP in the state.
Apart from the ruling SAD-BJP combine, the party is set to face a spirited challenge from AAP, which is gaining ground in the agrarian border state.