Poor preparation reason for Karnataka debacle: Rahul Gandhi

June 3rd, 2008 - 1:05 am ICT by IANS  

Amethi, June 2 (IANS) Congress MP Rahul Gandhi Monday evening attributed the debacle of the party in the Karnataka assembly elections to “poor preparation”. Gandhi was addressing media persons at the Fursatganj airbase here shortly after the conclusion of an all-India cricket tournament organised by him in his parliamentary constituency.

Replying to questions, Gandhi said, “I don’t deny that the Congress party performed poorly in Karnataka.”

He said: “We could have performed better if our people had put in more effort and were prepared better.”"

He also sought to add a feather in the Youth Congress’ cap. When a scribe asked him to comment on reports describing the recent Congress Working Committee meeting as “non productive”, the young MP shot back: “Well, I would not like to comment on others, but as far as the Youth Congress is concerned, let met tell you that it is not old wine in a new bottle.”

In reply to another question about the selection of candidates by the party for elections, he sid: “Personally I am of the view that the selection should be made well in advance, so that the candidate can do a perfect job.”

His sister Priyanka, her husband Robert Vadra and cricket maestro Sachin Tendulkar attended the tournament.

Asked why he had brought Sachin to the rural tournament, Gandhi said: “Sachin is one of the greatest cricket icons and everyone feels happy to see him, so what is the harm if I invited him here to let the people of this small place have a glimpse of him.”

Asked why he had organised a cricket tournament, the Amethi MP said, “Initially I thought I would hold a tournament of rural sports liked kabaddi and kho-kho, but since cricket is catching on even in the rural areas, I thought this will be a good exercise to take forward their talent.”

He had also thought of involving boys and girls in the tournament, but he had to exclude the girls as he found there were not many girls playing cricket in the constituency.

On whether he would hold the event regularly, Gandhi said, “I am not sure if I will hold the event next year or on an annual basis, but we will have such rural tournaments in future also.”

Ganghi had organised the tournament for all villages falling under the Amethi constituency. It began on April 14 and the finals were held Monday between Tiloi and Sangrampur block. Cricketer R.P. SIngh, who is from Rae Bareli, was also present.

Gandhi said the idea behind holding the tournament was to “enthuse the local youth who take a lot of interest in cricket and to also give them an opportunity to enhance their talent.”

The Gandhis arrived in the morning and witnessed the entire match as well as the prize distribution. They left by a chartered flight for Delhi in the evening.

The Sangrampur village team defeated Tiloi by a margin of 62 runs, scoring 126 against the rival’s score of 64.

The Amethi village team, which was to play the final against Tiloi village, was disqualified Sunday night after it was learnt that they had players from other towns. The second best team, Sangrampur, played instead.

In all, 1,857 teams partook in the tournament held at 127 locations across the Amethi Lok Sabha constituency, which Rahul represents.

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