Mumbai: As part of its manifesto-making efforts, Congress will organise two events in Mumbai later this month. Former finance minister P. Chidambaram will discuss issues and expectations with leaders across various sections in Mumbai. Congress, thro-ugh this exercise, is trying to reach out to the urban middle class and intelligentsia in particular, which had deserted the party in 2014.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi has formed a manifesto committee, chaired by Mr Chid-ambaram, which will reach out to every corner of society and discuss its aspirations. This committee has been asked to consult as many people as possible and take suggestions from them.
A sub-committee also exists which will have a wider consultation with a number of groups. Former Union minister Kumari Selja is heading this sub-committee. Ms Selja will visit Mumbai on October 23 and mainly focus on urban issues and problems related to urban populations. She will also meet with social activists working on urban issues including infrastructure, education and the environment, among other things.
Mr Chidambaram is expected to hold discussions with leaders of industry, markets, various professionals, lawy-ers, investors and tra-ders. “The aim is clear. Congress believes in nation building with the participation of all. Our manifesto will represent the decision-making system that ideal democracy represents. People will have their say; we will work to build consensus and confidence and documentation from all corners will be presented as our manifesto,” said Mu-mbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam.
It is being believed that this process is aimed at presenting the Congress as the only ‘listener’ of the people. “Congress’ entire focus is on countering Prime Minister Nare-ndra Modi on his ‘authoritarian rule’. That’s why, if we remember, Mr Gandhi was seen telling people in Gujarat and Karnataka that his government would listen to you and decisions would be made from the bottom. This manifesto is, in a way, trying to present the party in a more communicative way to the people,” said political observer Jatin Desai.