Guna (MP): Senior Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia on Sunday underlined the need for his party to strengthen its presence at the ground level in Madhya Pradesh.
"A party runs on the basis of its workers' strength at the bottom level. If they (workers) are not strong at the ground level, the party will not be able to deliver," Scindia told PTI, when asked to comment on the plight of Congress that is beset with factions of top leaders in the state.
"I can see that there is lot of scope for the party to strengthen itself at the ground level in the state," he said.
Asked whether state Congress president Arun Yadav was efficiently delivering the goods, Scindia said "though he is trying for it, there is a lot of scope for improvement."
Not just Yadav, the entire Congress party needs to work hard in the state, the former Union Minister said.
On the issue of Congress' defeat in the recent by-poll for Garoth Assembly seat in Mandsaur district despite fielding a strong candidate, Scindia, the Lok Sabha MP from Guna seat, said the party should review the reasons behind it.
Congress candidate and former minister Subhash Sojatia had lost to BJP's Chander Singh Sisodia by a margin of 12,945 votes at Garoth. It was Sisodia's maiden election.
BJP had won the seat in 2013 Assembly election by a margin of 25,755 votes, but this time around its margin was reduced.
Asked whether Congress is taking seriously the Lok Sabha by-poll to be held shortly in Ratlam-Jhabua seat, as it had won the seat many times in the past except in 2014, Scindia said the party must take every poll seriously.
The bypoll to Ratlam-Jhabua seat was necessitated following the demise of sitting BJP MP Dileep Singh Bhuria.
"Winning any poll or losing it makes a lot of difference both ways. Therefore, it is necessary to take each election with full seriousness," said the Congress' chief whip in the Lok Sabha.
Since 1951, Congress has won the Lok Sabha elections from Jhabua 13 times. BJP won it for the first time in 2014, when Dileep Singh Bhuria defeated Kantilal Bhuria by a margin of over one lakh votes.
But this time around, the Vyapam scam is likely to cast a shadow over the bypoll given that TV journalist Akshay Singh died under mysterious conditions in Meghnagar town of Jhabua while on its trail, political observers feel.
"His death is considered to be the turning point in the murkier admission-cum-job scam," Congress spokesman Pankaj Chaturvedi said, adding that the scandal came into international focus after Akshay Singh's death.
"We are going to wrest power from BJP in Jhabua seat as our opponent's image has taken a knocking due to Vyapam scam," he said.