NEW DELHI: The Congress is planning a major NRI outreach ahead of the 2019 national polls to tap into their votes and build up Rahul Gandhi’s image as a global leader. Sources said the Indian Overseas
Congress under the guidance of technocrat Sam Pitroda was planning to set up chapters across the US, Europe and West Asia, which will help mobilise the local Indian communities in favour of the grand old party.
Already, a move has been started by the party managers to enlist the NRIs after the government allowed them voting rights. “The outreach will also help the Congress hardsell Rahul as a global leader and fight the negative perception created by the BJP,” a senior AICC functionary told The Sunday Standard.
Party strategists said West Asia has the largest concentration of NRIs. Also, this is the region with the biggest remittances coming back home. As part of the groundwork in the US, a big cutout of Rahul might be included in the Independence Day parade taken out by the Indians in New York.
A review of the contributions made by party representatives in 18 EU countries would also be undertaken to firm up strategies for the region ahead of the polls. Once a significant network of NRIs is created, the Congress hopes to bring hundreds of them to campaign for the party in various states. “NRIs played a key role in the Punjab and Karnataka Assembly polls. We will deploy at least 29 busloads of them in the states for the elections,” a party insider said. Dedicated teams across states will also be set up to ensure smooth coordination.
Congress chief to go on Europe trip
Rahul is visiting Germany and London during August 21-25 where he will interact with NRIs and professionals, on the lines of similar programmes in the US last year and in Bahrain this January.