New Delhi: With an intent of ensuring better propagation of UPA's "growth story", Congress has convened a conclave of its spokespersons of state units on 22 July which will be addressed by Rahul Gandhi and some ministers.
During the two-day workshop, the Congress Vice President is expected to impress upon the spokespersons to communicate to the masses the major initiatives taken by the government, including the 'game-changer' programmes like the Food Security programme.
It will be followed by a meeting of PCC chiefs and CLP leaders of states on food security to be addresed by the Congress Vice President on 27 July.
The exercise is being held at a time when the party is preparing for the next Lok Sabha polls and is keen that its achievements and actions reach the people.
The workshop is a corrollary to the party's plan to create the "mirror images" in all states of the Communication Department that has been set up at the AICC with separate wings for electronic, print and social media.
The interaction will also provide an opportunity to the party leadership to identify and pick up talent from states to tone up its media machinery.
All states have been asked to send five spokespersons for the workshop---all below 55 years and having NSUI or Youth Congress background, sources said.
The workshop to be inaugurated by Gandhi, will also be addressed by Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh and Food Minister K V Thomas. There will be a dedicated session on food security issue.
Chidambaram will speak on the "growth story" of the UPA's nine years which will be told to the participants, who are expected to propagate the message in their states.
The exercise is intended to puncture the BJP's attack on the government on the issue of development as comparative charts and figures are expected to be shown in respect of the economic growth during UPA and NDA tenures.
Party Communication Department in-charge Ajay Maken said the meeting would seek to "build linkages" between the AICC and PCC offices in disseminating the party's view point on various issues.
The party has created a mechanism for this but Maken refused to divulge details.
Professional trainers have been called to train the party leaders in research and dissemination of information on various platforms of convention and social media.
The workshop will be attended by around 200 persons including five national spokespersons, 36 electronic media panelists and 15 persons each from NSUI and Youth Congress.
Though the party has its spokespersons in almost all states, lack of an organized communication set up was being felt by the party leadership for a long time.
The media workshop is expected to give a fillip to the setting up of communications departments in the PCCs on the line of what has been done in the AICC.
Besides the conventional print and electronic media, the focus will also be to increase the presence of Congress state units on social media.
Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari will address a session on preparedness for electronic media while Sandeep Dikshit will address a session on research and Deepender Hooda on social media.
The party has already finalized plans to go for live streaming of AICC Press conferences to apprise its PCCs of the Congress stand on the issues and bring uniformity in the party's response system.
"We have got to tell people our success story," averred a leader.
For last few days, Congress has been providing statistics to counter the development claims of Narendra Modi and BJP's criticism of the UPA government on the development issue.