By Express News Service
NEW DELHI: The Congress to have ‘vicharaks’ on the lines of RSS ‘pracharaks’ to connect with people on the ground on key issues like price rise, unemployment, and farmer distress. These will be members of the Congress frontal organization Seva Dal and will hit the ground running ahead of assembly elections next year.
Initially, the prime focus will be on Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat assembly elections in 2022. These ‘vicharaks’ pan out in targeted constituencies that will be carefully selected following discussion with party in-charges and top leadership.
Seva Dal, which saw its role and responsibilities tweaked after Rahul Gandhi became party chief in 2017, is looking at an image makeover by actively engaging in the election campaigns and public outreach programs in states where it has a good presence. The organisation membership jumped to 3.7 lakh active members in over 600 districts at present from 12,000 in 2018.
Congress general secretary and in-charge for UP Priyanka Gandhi Vadra during her visit to Lucknow also talked about plans to revamp the Congress Seva Dal in the state.
“It is vicharaks Vs pracharaks. We are training our workforce to focus on people’s agenda away from the emotional and religious agenda of the RSS ahead of elections. Members of Seva Dal will work in tandem with state units to reach out to people and talk to them on pressing issues,” said Lalji Desai, Chief Organiser, Seva Dal. He says the team is young and dynamic with 80% of them below 45 years of age group.
The party’s grassroots organization, which was seen more as a ceremonial organization, has zeroed on 100 constituencies in UP where their members would be looking to campaign for the party. It is based on research by the team members but will wait for the final go-ahead from Priyanka Gandhi and UP Congress chief Ajay Kumar Lallu.
“These seats have been selected based on analysis of last three UP assembly elections. These are where the party has either performed well like the candidate stood at the second position or performed badly (confiscating deposits). Our workforce from Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Chhattisgarh will also be moved to join Seva Dal members in UP. The organization is active in east and west UP and the selected seats are in these regions,” said Desai.
The Seva Dal already has over 400 members in UP and more will join in the coming months.