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Rahul meets Punjab Cong leaders


New Delhi: Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi today held a meeting with party leaders from Punjab to discuss political and organisational challenges in the state ahead of Assembly polls.

Sources said the meeting deliberated on the growing presence of Aam Aadmi Party in Punjab and decided to “effectively counter” the Arvind Kejriwal-led outfit by exposing it before the people.

Congress general secretary in charge of party affairs in Punjab Shakeel Ahmad termed the meeting as “routine” in which vary issues were discussed.

On the role of strategist Prashant Kishor, who was present at the meeting, Ahmed said he is “advising” the Punjab Congress President on political strategy ahead of the polls.

Kishor has no role in ticket distribution or organisation matters, he said.

The sources said Congress is likely to present AAP as a force that wants to “help” the incumbent Akali-BJP combine in the state.

“AAP will eat into anti-Akali, anti-BJP vote and will help them because in AAP’s absence these votes would have consolidated behind Congress. We will take this message to people,” said a leader.

The meeting was attended by Ahmad, state Congress chief Amarinder Singh, Campaign Committee chairperson Ambika Soni, Congress Legislature Party Leader Charanjit Singh Channi, Kishor and AICC secretary Harish Choudhry.

Congress is seeking to wrest power from the Akali-BJP combine that defeated it twice in a row.

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