Go to people directly, urges Sonia Gandhi as Congress set for nationwide agitation

Go to people directly, urges Sonia Gandhi as Congress set for nationwide agitation
Sonia Gandhi, who does not have a Twitter account to date, was speaking at a meeting of All India Congress Committee (AICC) leaders at the party headquarters in New Delhi.
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New Delhi: Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Thursday told her party colleagues that being active on social media is not enough and the party needs a concrete plan to reach out directly to the people.

Sonia Gandhi, who does not have a Twitter account to date, was speaking at a meeting of All India Congress Committee (AICC) leaders at the party headquarters here.

"It is not enough to be active and aggressive on social media. Even though that too is needed, we need to do that better. Far more important is to go to the people directly," she said.

The Congress, during Rahul Gandhi's tenure as party chief, had recalibrated its social media plan. The party has aggressively used social media to target the government.

Besides Rahul Gandhi, many Congress leaders, including party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, regularly take to Twitter to express their opinion on various issues.

Speaking at the meeting, Sonia Gandhi said the country is looking to the Congress to confront and combat the forces that appropriate Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel, Dr B R Ambedkar and misrepresent their true messages for their nefarious ends.

"We must stand up fearlessly to fight on the streets, fight in villages, towns and cities. We must have a concrete agitational agenda on issues of pressing concern to the people, whether they be economic or social," she said.

"We are soon going to have elections in three states. The situation is challenging and it is only if we keep party interests and nothing else other than party interests uppermost in our minds, that we will regain our lost position," she added.

Sonia Gandhi, who took over as party chief months after the Congress faced a drubbing in the Lok Sabha polls, said states ruled by the party should emerge as model states.

These states must stand out as examples of sensitive and responsive governance, accountable and transparent administration, she said.

"We must be seen to be fulfilling our manifesto commitments. If not, we will lose people's support with obvious consequences," she added.

Thursday's meeting was attended by Congress general secretaries, in-charges, party chiefs and state CLP leaders.

Congress to hold agitations

The Congress on Thursday announced it will hold massive agitations across the country from October 15 to October 25 against the government's policies that have allegedly led to an "economic slowdown".

It was decided at the meeting that Pradesh Congress Committee delegate conventions will be held across the country from September 20 to 30 to highlight the "economic slowdown", Congress spokesperson R P N Singh said at a press conference, in which party general secretary K C Venugopal was also present.

This will be followed by massive agitations across the country from October 15 to October 25 against the government over its policies that have led to the slowdown, Singh said.

The Congress will also hold 'padayatras' from October 2 to October 9 to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, he said.

The party's membership drive will also start in October, Singh said.

People can enrol themselves as members of the Congress party through an app on their mobiles and only basic information will be required. However, for paper-based memberships, it will the responsibility of the DCC and PCC to provide digital information of their members.

Leaders have been asked to go to booth-level to enrol new members, Singh said, adding training of Congressmen to make them aware about "false narratives created by the BJP" will be carried out.

(With inputs from PTI)

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