Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Thursday turned down a proposal to have 'Preraks' (motivators) for conducting the party's outreach activities across the country. There was consensus at a meeting of Congress' top brass chaired by Gandhi to continue with the old system of having trainers. These trainers would further be tasked with the responsibility of propagating the party's ideology and articulating its views on a range of issues. Sources said a proposal to have 'Preraks' was made at the Congress meeting of general secretaries, in-charges, PCC chiefs and CLP leaders on Thursday by Sachin Rao, who is AICC in-charge of training.
The proposal invited instant objections from many Congress leaders starting with Mukul Wasnik, who said it sounded too similar to the word 'Pracharak'. RSS, the BJP's ideological mentor, has a system of 'Pracharaks'. Sonia Gandhi is learnt to have acknowledged Wasnik's objection and rejected the term 'prerak' in favour of the already used word "trainer -coordinator". The Congress now plans to have coordinators across the country who will propagate the party's message in the area he is assigned to.
Earlier in the day, in the important Congress meet in New Delhi. The party was set to decide its strategy for upcoming state elections after the 2019 Lok Sabha drubbing, as per sources. According to sources, the party was mulling on appointing 'Preraks' or 'motivators' at the district level across the country to boost its ground level outreach. Experts have stated that this move by Congress is similar to that of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)'s functioning model. The 'Preraks' will reportedly be given training for several days and will work on the party agenda at a ground-level.
Top leaders in attendance include former PM Manmohan Singh, Ghulam Nabi Azad, KC Venugopal, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Sachin Pilot and Jyotiraditya Scindia. All Congress general secretaries are scheduled to meet on Friday as well to address the various issues. Apart from strategy, the meeting has also been called to discuss preparations for Gandhi Jayanti. Previously, the party had announced that party workers will carry out padayatra across the country, wearing Gandhi topis and holding seminars to celebrate the Mahatma's birth anniversary.
Meanwhile, Congress is currently going through internal turmoil. Senior leader Jyotiraditya Scindia had reportedly given an ultimatum to the party that he will resign if not made Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) head. He had also skipped Priyanka Gandhi's meeting which was scheduled on Friday. He is set to meet Sonia Gandhi to discuss the same. Top leaders have expressly denied any rift between the High Command and Scindia.
Congress also suffered a major setback in Maharashtra on Tuesday when former Maharashtra minister Kripashankar Singh quit the party. Kripashankar Singh's resignation was the second blow to the Congress in a single day after actor-turned-politician Urmila Matondkar resigned earlier on the same day. Apart from them, Haryana's women's wing chief Sumitra Chouhan submitted her resignation and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday. The party has seen a continuous string of resignations since Rahul Gandhi's resignation on May 25, after losing the Lok Sabha polls to BJP.