With an aim to woo electorates in 2019 Lok Sabha elections and pose a tough challenge to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the manifesto committee of Congress has held its first meeting. The meeting was held even as party president Rahul Gandhi was on a Kailash Mansarovar yatra. The manifesto panel was focusing on preparing the “people’s manifesto”, according to Indian Express report. The panel has decided to seek suggestions from farmers, women, youth and students.
“It was a preliminary meeting but the broad idea will be to go to the people. We have held some good consultations in Gujarat and Karnataka and also in the Northeast and lots of inputs were taken. People could see that the Congress was listening,” a Congress leader was quoted as saying by IE. “We will seek suggestions from all — from farmers to industry to youth and students to women, Dalit groups and tribals,” another leader who attended the meeting was quoted as saying.
The 19-member Manifesto Committee comprises veterans like former finance minister P Chidambaram, former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, former union ministers Jairam Ramesh, Salman Khurshid, Shashi Tharoor and Kumari Selja, besides former Meghalaya chief minister Mukul Sangma. Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala, Punjab finance minister Manpreet Badal, party’s women’s wing head Sushmita Dev, party Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Gowda and Tamradhwaj Sahu, who is also the party’s Backward class department chief, are also part of the panel. The others are Bindu Krishnan, Raghuveer Meena, Bhalchandra Mungekar, Meenakshi Natarajan, Rajni Patil, Sam Pitroda, Sachin Rao and Lalithesh Tripathi.
Earlier in August, Gandhi formed the key nine-member Core Group Committee comprising A K Antony, Ghulam Nabi Azad, P Chidambaram, Ashok Gehlot, Mallikarjun Kharge, Ahmed Patel, Jairam Ramesh, Randeep Surjewala and K C Veugopal. While all those in the Core Committee have worked under the leadership of Sonia Gandhi, those in the publicity and manifesto committees comprise old-timers as well as some fresh faces.