Congress party supporters celebrate in Ahmedabad
Congress party supporters celebrate after a party candidate's win in the Assembly elections in Ahmedabad | PTI
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The Congress has formed three committees exclusively for the 2019 polls. These panels will plan, strategise and prepare the manifesto.

New Delhi: The Congress has appointed senior leaders Jairam Ramesh, Rajiv Gowda and Pawan Khera as the convenors of the three poll committees that it has specially formed for the 2019 elections, sources told ThePrint.

The sources said while Ramesh has been appointed the convenor of its core group committee, Gowda will look after the manifesto committee. Pawan Khera has been appointed convenor of the publicity committee.

The party is yet to announce these appointments.

The three committees — which are filled with senior party leaders — were first announced by party president Rahul Gandhi on 25 August. They have been specifically tasked with planning and strategising along with preparing the manifesto for the 2019 general elections.

ThePrint had reported last month that both Jairam and Gowda are crucial to Congress 2019 elections planning.

Also read: Congress makes 2019 plan with some help from Priyanka, pins hope on allies and millennials

Committees of experts

The core group committee, of which former union minister Ramesh is the convenor, has eight other members. It includes senior leaders such as Ahmed Patel, P. Chidambaram, A.K. Antony, Mallikarjun Kharge, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Randeep Surjewala and others.

The core group will decide on the overall strategy of the party campaign. Ramesh in the past has worked on campaigns for Lok Sabha elections in 2004, 2009 and 2014.

Gowda, a Rajya Sabha MP, currently heads the Congress’ research department. He has been working on preparing state-specific research material that Gandhi uses in his speeches and which the party’s communication department relies upon, to target the BJP.

The manifesto committee, of which he is convenor, has 19 members, including senior leaders  Chidambaram, Ramesh, Kumari Selja, Salman Khurshid, Shashi Tharoor and others.

Also read: Controversial Jairam Ramesh has skills, but some in Congress don’t want him to run 2019 war room

Congress strategist Sam Pitroda is also part of the committee and he will attend meetings with various people in order to prepare the manifesto. Pitroda had carried out a similar exercise in the December 2017 Gujarat and May 2018 Karnataka assembly elections.

Khera, the Congress spokesperson, handled the publicity of the party campaign during the Gujarat and Karnataka assembly elections. Khera will look after the 13-member publicity committee that has senior leaders Anand Sharma, Manish Tewari, Rajeev Shukla, Pramod Tiwari, Randeep Surjewala, Praveen Chakravarty and others.

Gandhi is not part of any of these committees but he will attend meetings of these panels when he is in town, sources in the Congress said.

In his absence, K. Raju from his office will represent him and submit reports on the outcomes of the meeting to the Congress president. Raju was previously the head of the party’s SC/ST cell but was shifted to Rahul’s office earlier this year.

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1 Comment Share Your Views


  1. Prof PK Sharma, Freelance Journalist, Barnala(Punjab)

    The panel formation and Congress Party Poll Manifesto are formal parts.

    Just opposing and exposing the NaMo led government pertaining to various acts of omission and commission will not serve the purpose unless or until Congress leadership outlines the alternative, innovative and reformist narrative it has up his sleeves !

    No doubt, surrounding and then flaying Modi Government for its gross failure to address the issues of national significance, delivering
    the goods and redressal of public grievances is very imperative but at the same time how will the party solve manifold sensitive and burning problems staring India in the face ! The public is curious to know all this at the earliest !

    For instance, ever mounting unemployment problem is the crucial issue concerning the demographic dividend of the nation ! In terms of vote count this section of society has a lions’ share ! The party must offer a sort of blue print how and in which way the party plans to generate employment ? Similarly, offering loans to farmers to solve farmers suicide and distress problem is not the lasting solution ! The party must come out with innovative and new ideas how it would improve the lot of the farmers ? Then imparting affordable quality education and offering affordable healthcare system in the nation are the themes of paramount significance ! How will Congress effect improvements in these two worthwhile concepts of welfare state ?

    The Congress panelists on TV channels concentrate more or less on assailing the ruling party but they are found wanting in this context ! It is infact high and ripe time to be offensive rather than defensive ! They ought to grab opportunities on TV Channels during
    panel discussions exploiting the same to highlight solutions off and on to such like countless problems to attract and woo the masses !

    Congress Chief Mr.Rahul Gandhi must bear this important factor in his mind whosoever first seizes the intitiative will succeed in outsmarting the NaMo led BJP !

    Above all, Rahul Gandhi should not forget that his party will have to encounter and resist ploys, theatrics, lies, rhetorics and vilification tactics of NaMo during the poll campaign ! The task of outsmarting NaMo this time is undoubtedly Herculean but not impossible !

    This golden opportunity of “ridding India of megalomanic and authoritarian rule” now must not be frittered away !

    Prof PK Sharma, Freelance Journalist
    Pom Anm Nest,Barnala(Punjab)


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