The Congress on Tuesday created two new organisational departments — Professionals Congress and Unorganised Workers Congress — to reach out to tax-paying professionals, as part of its revival plan.
Shashi Tharoor, Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram , the former Union Minister of state for External Affairs , HRD, who has been appointed as the new chairman of the All India Professionals Congress said the idea is to integrate the educated tax-paying professionals of the country and their aspirations for the future of India into the Congress’s political system.
“This is all a part of reviving the party. This is one more step to say the Congress continues to be a vibrant party,” he said.
According to the PTI news report, Tharoor said the Congress is looking at people who embody such values and serve them as liberty and freedom, social justice and pluralism in India.
“We have seen many people who have voted for the BJP because they were seduced by the rhetoric of economic development progress and are now repelled by the bigotry and vigilantism and violence in the name of cow and so on,” he said.
The articulate and suave former UN diplomat, Tharoor said many people told him that they voted for the BJP last time and “such people when they see the 19th-century analogy of communists, they see cynicism of the Aam Aadmi Party” they want to see a home in a “liberal-minded progressive group” of people committed to bring positive change.
The Congress is seeking to give an opportunity to such people channelise their imagination, energies, professional skills and ideas to help meet their aspirations in India.
He said the initiative aims at having a decentralised, democratic platform with the chapter in every city, but there will be a fellowship fee of Rs 1,000 so that it is not going to be like the BJP’s missed calls and “fake members”.
“The idea is to have a political rotary club within the Congress party where these professionals will link to each other through Whatsapp groups, will have an opportunity to meet and engage in weekly meetings in their own Chapters,” he said, adding they can invite Congress leaders to address them.
He said some people have an interest in politics but stay detached from it because they feel that professional work is different and that they have no access to the political world.
“Very often they have bright minds, political ideas but have no idea how to connect to the political process. They feel that the political process has no room for them,” he said.
Tharoor said there are 3.2 crore individual tax-payers and four lakh corporate assessees in the country, a majority of whom have interest in what is happening to their tax and the country but do not have avenues to express these initiatives.
He said party president Sonia Gandhi has appointed Milind Deora as his deputy, who will also be coordinator for West zone. Besides, Geeta Reddy will be the entity’s South zone coordinator, while Gaurav Gogoi and Salman Soz will take care of the East and North zones.
He said the office-bearers will chalk out a way forward at a meeting on Wednesday and will meet party vice-president Rahul Gandhi, who is strongly behind this initiative.
Arbind Singh has been made the chairman of the All India Unorganised Workers Congress and Irfan Alam as vice-chairman.
Sonia Gandhi has also accorded her approval to change the name of the fishermen department to All India Fishermen Congress, party leader Janardan Dwivedi said.