NEW DELHI, Feb 17 (TOI) : Rahul Gandhi rubbished the speculation about prime ministership, telling Congress state heads that he was only interested in discharging the responsibility of party vice-president.
The bid to clamp down on talk about top government job came after Uttarakhand CM Vijay Bahuguna asked him about the possibility at the second-day of the interaction with regional heads.
"Manmohan Singh is doing a good job and there is no space for such unnecessary discussion," he said. The snub, however, is unlikely to stop his projection for the next elections. Andhra Pradesh CM Kiran Reddy told reporters later that he would do his best to see Rahul as PM in 2014.
Rahul, though, preferred to focus on the organization at the interaction. He urged legislature party leaders and state chiefs to work as per their mandate. According to sources, he said differences should be resolved at the coordination committee and urged the state in-charges to hold regular meetings.
The loosely-worded plea for unity came after at least three states complained of split within the party. While Delhi PCC chief J P Aggarwal and CM Sheila Dikshit clashed, MP unit president Kantilal Bhuria complained of indifference and interference from Union ministers Kamal Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia. Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda alleged that central ministers and MPs were influencing the MLAs against him.
On Saturday, Uttarakhand PCC chief Yashpal Arya demanded effective steps to check indiscipline, saying the problem was acute at senior level. His comment was seen as an attack on Union minister Harish Rawat, who had revolted against choice of Bahuguna as CM and is seen to be still unhappy.
The clash between Delhi heads shook the participants on Friday. While Aggarwal accused the CM of sidelining him in the party, Dikshit shot back by saying the PCC chief does not listen to her, even complaining that Delhi corporation tickets were finalized without her knowledge. When told she was part of the panel that finalized the tickets, silence descended on the argument.
The tricky issue of Telangana echoed through the two days of discussion, with CMs of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal state chief raising the issue. AP CM Kiran Reddy sought early decision.
Rahul sought immediate rebuilding of the organization, urging that all pending appointments from block unit upwards be made and saying he would hold review with PCC chiefs in three months. He also urged the state heads to tour at least 10 days a month to increase contact with workers.