Don't be Twitter leaders, Sonia Gandhi tells Congress partymen

Shows sense of urgency for first time after huge poll defeat, asks party to go beyond social media.

Published: 13th September 2019 08:26 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th September 2019 10:50 AM   |  A+A-

Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi flanked by former PM Manmohan Singh and senior leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad AK Antony and KC Venugopal chairs a party meeting to discuss plans for the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi at AICC HQ. (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Thursday laid out an aggressive roadmap to take on the Modi government by hitting the ground with a series of agitations instead of just articulating views on social media.Addressing the first meeting of senior party functionaries including state chiefs after taking over as interim leader last month, Sonia asked party leaders to have a concrete agitational agenda on issues concerning people. The party plans to hold a massive nationwide agitation on the economic slowdown from October 15-25.

While the Congress president did not name any leader who was more active on Twitter and Facebook than on the ground, it is generally felt that the party is filled with leaders who are not rooted. Several leaders who carry clout in the party do not enjoy the mandate of the people, and are mostly Rajya Sabha members. 

The meeting of AICC general secretaries, state chiefs and Congress legislature party leaders saw as many as 32 people talking on topics such as the economy, ongoing infighting in many state units, improving people connect and humanitarian issues in the context of abrogation of Article 370 in J&K, said party sources. The idea of having preraks in the party on the lines of RSS pracharaks came up for discussion but was shot down by many senior party leaders, including Sonia. 

It was agreed to now have coordinators, 200 of whom will be trained about Congress ideology. They will communicate with youth to educate them about “true nationalism and secularism”. A membership drive, both digital and paper-based, is scheduled to be launched next month.

Claiming that vendetta politics is at its peak and those who speak out against the ruling establishment are being threatened and intimidated, the Congress president said, “The country is looking to us to confront and combat these forces.” Expressing concern over the economic situation, former PM Manmohan Singh said, “The dangerous thing is that the government is complacent and does not realise we are in the midst of a protracted economic slowdown.”Sonia is scheduled to meet all CMs belonging to the Congress on Friday where progress reports of their states would be discussed.  

Rahul absent  
Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi was not present at the meeting. The party clarified that only general secretaries, state chiefs and legislature party leaders were invited. Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath was also absent


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