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‘We must have a concrete agitational agenda on issues of pressing concern to the people’- Sonia Gandhi

Interim Congress president Sonia Gandhi 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 .

“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 recaliberated 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. Former president Rahul Gandhi gave it a miss though.

Further , the interim Congress president Sonia Gandhi has turned down a proposal to have ‘preraks‘ (motivators) for conducting party’s outreach activities across the country.

There was consensus at a meeting of Congress’ top brass chaired by Gandhi to continue with the old system of having trainers who would further be tasked with the responsibility of propagating party’s ideology and articulating its views on a range of issues.
Sources said a proposal to have ‘preraks‘ was made at the Congress meeting of general secretaries, in-charges, Pradesh Congress Committee chiefs and Congress Legislature Party leaders by Sachin Rao, who is All India Congress Committee in-charge of training.
The proposal invited instant objections from many Congress leaders starting with Mukul Wasnik, who said it sounded too similar to the word ‘pracharak‘.
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s ideological mentor, has a system of ‘pracharaks‘.
Sonia is learnt to have acknowledged Wasnik’s objection and rejected the term ‘prerak‘ in favour of the already used word ‘trainer-coordinator’.

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