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Cong panel on agitations meets, Priyanka lays stress on follow-up

The meeting identified inflation as the main issue on which the party should launch a national agitation immediately.

A panel set up by Congress president Sonia Gandhi under the chairmanship of senior leader Digvijaya Singh to plan “sustained agitations” on national issues met for the first time on Tuesday. At the meeting, AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra suggested that the party should try and ensure that the message of the agitation reaches people and that there should be “follow up” action after agitational and campaign programmes, it is learnt.

Sources said Priyanka pointed out that the party organises campaigns and programmes at the national level with little impact at the district, taluk and panchayat levels making them a futile exercise. Her focus, sources said, was on how to take the message of the agitation to every household.

The meeting identified inflation as the main issue on which the party should launch a national agitation immediately. The committee also was of the view that the party should wage campaigns against the farm laws and asset monetisation to “highlight the high-handedness of the government.”

The deliberations were on “how to sustain an agitation….what happens now is that everybody will come together one day and hold an agitation for a day…then it is over…we need to plan continuous agitation. We are putting up these suggestions to the Congress president,” a member of the panel told The Indian Express.

One leader said Priyanka was very forthright. “Her suggestion was the party will have to establish a connect with the people and that whatever message we are trying to send through these agitations should penetrate. Often our people hold programmes and then forget the issue. She said there should be a trickle down effect,” a leader said.

“She said we will have to constantly conduct programmes and raise issues of the deprived sections of the people. The party will have to raise issues of youth, traders, women, urban and semi urban population and involve them”, a leader quoted her as having said at the meeting.

One leader said Priyanka suggested that the party should take the agitation to every home, holding a door to door campaign. Interestingly, Udit Raj, one of the members panel, suggested that Rahul Gandhi should take over as the Congress president arguing that “it is most important to counter the cult of Narendra Modi.”

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