Congress strategy for Lok Sabha polls: Bring in lawyers, doctors to campaign, prepare 'outcome-based 2019 plan' like BJP

  • The Congress has decided that community leaders in each constituency will be attached to the candidate fielded from that Lok Sabha seat.

  • The party has decided to invite influential caste leaders and professionals to campaign for the Congress.

  • Booth in-charges will be trained in election laws.

  • State leaders have been asked to finalise a proposal for Rahul Gandhi's rallies with a clear agenda.

New Delhi: A buoyant Congress, after sweeping three states in the recently concluded Assembly elections, is banking heavily on influential caste leaders in all 543 Lok Sabha constituencies for 2019 general elections. The party is adopting a multi-pronged approach and reviving its frontal organisations to counter the BJP's grass root connect with voters.

A senior party leader told Firstpost that a high-level meeting was held in the first week of January, where top leadership of the grand old party discussed several key issues, including a draft action plan for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

The leaders at the meeting cleared a proposal to identify the influential leaders belonging to caste or professionals like lawyers, doctors and academics, or people from trade unions, rotaries and business associations. Personal interactions will be held to motivate them to campaign for the Congress in the upcoming elections. A national convention is also planned for 3 March in Delhi, where recruited community leaders will be invited to meet Congress leaders.

 Congress strategy for Lok Sabha polls: Bring in lawyers, doctors to campaign, prepare outcome-based 2019 plan like BJP

File image of Congress president Rahul Gandhi. PTI

Moreover, the party has decided that a few dominant community leaders, identified in each parliamentary constituency, will be attached to the Congress candidate fielded from that Lok Sabha seat to ensure electoral gains. The Congress will also follow the BJP's footprints in preparing an outcome-based 2019 plan, and all its departments and frontal organisations — such as the Mahila Congress, Youth Congress, Seva Dal and National Students' Union of India — will design the activities and analyse the expected results at both the national and state level.

"The Congress will have an integrated campaign plan for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls under the supervision of general secretaries and state in-charges so all departments and frontal organisation work in total harmony. We have also told state leaders to finalise a proposal for the Congress president's rallies with a clear agenda, including the target audience and the ultimate objective of a rally. The strategy will help ensure that each and every event provides us leverage," a Congress leader said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had recently declared, "Win the booth, and victory is ours." The Congress has decided to follow a similar strategy, but it will also train its workers on election laws so that those in charge of booths can raise issues like discrepancies in electoral rolls and violations of the Model Code of Conduct. Sources in the party said they are in the process of putting together a team of dedicated workers to be made in charge of booths and conduct frequent state-level interactions.

"By 25 January, all pending appointments at various departments and frontal organisations of the Congress will be completed with the approval of party president Rahul Gandhi," sources in the party said. "Similarly, a full-fledged legal department will become functional at central office within a week, and a team of a similar strength will be stationed at states to coordinate on legal matters and resolve other issues. We think by mid-February, central, state and local levels will start coordinating full swing."

By the end of January, all the wings of the party will complete their consultations with key stakeholders and interest groups and submit important notes to the manifesto committee of the Congress headed by former finance minister P Chidambaram. Sources said at least three weeks of consultations are scheduled with interest groups to finalise specific poll promises, which will reflect in the party's 2019 manifesto.

Updated Date: Jan 14, 2019 09:39:22 IST