Rahul Gandhi to meet party leaders over Food ordinance on 27 July

New Delhi: Keen to spread the message of the "game changer" food security bill across the country, Rahul Gandhi will hold day-long deliberations with PCC chiefs and CLP leaders of all states here on 27 July.

Rahul will also hold a two-day workshop on media strategy for over 150 party spokespersons from the states on 22 and 23 July, where they will be explained how to put across the party's view point on various issues effectively.

Rahul Gandhi. AFP

Rahul Gandhi. AFP

Though the primary agenda of the workshop is media planning, the programme coinciding with the party's thrust on food bill, has triggered speculation that Congress is keen that its message on food security is effectively communciated to masses across the country and hence an urgent need to tone up the media presence in states is being felt.

The meetings come a fortnight after the Congress President Sonia Gandhi asked Chief Ministers of Congress-ruled states to expeditiously implement the food security scheme in "letter and spirit" so that "nobody sleeps hungry".

They are also being held at a time when the party is preparing for the next Lok Sabha polls and is keen to reach out to the people with its populist measures.

While the two-day media workshop is aimed at toning up the party's media presence and put in an effective communication system of the AICC in states ahead of the next Lok Sabha elections, the 27 July meeting aims at flagging the need to urgently implement the food security measure.

The meeting on the food security will also be addressed by Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh and K V Thomas. AICC secretaries and the chiefs of party's frontal wings will attend the meeting.

In the Saturday meeting with 13 Congress Chief Ministers, AICC general secretaries and Congress Core Group members, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had said bottlenecks, if any, in the implementation of the scheme will be removed.

The deliberations had seen a number of AICC General Secretaries and Chief Ministers raising concerns over poor condition of Public Distribution System (PDS).

The aim of the July 27 meeting is to ensure that the food security measure is implemented in the best possible manner with Congress-ruled states becoming role models in its implementation.

A battery of Congress spokespersons are already on the move in various states to hold workshops for the PCCs on food security issue and address press conferences at state headquarters.

Gandhi, who is the Congress Vice President, will address the PCC chiefs of states including those ruled by Congress as well as those where the Opposition parties are in power.

While Delhi has announced its decision to implement the scheme from August 20, Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda had said in the meeting that he was also ready to roll out the scheme from the same day. Congress-ruled Rajasthan is also pacing up to launch the scheme by 20 August.

The media workshop is expected to be attended by all the states, with each sending around five spokespersons. Besides strengthening the party's media presence in states, the exercise is also aimed at picking up talented spokespersons from the lot for AICC, sources said.

The workshop will also be attended by 36 national spokespersons and media panelists of the AICC besides having representations 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.


Updated Date: Jul 16, 2013 21:54 PM

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