priyanka gandhi: After Rahul Yatra, Priyanka Gandhi-led ‘Mahila March’ at state HQs

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Over a month into his Congress presidency, Mallikarjun Kharge on Sunday presided over the first meeting of the party’s steering committee, a la caretaker CWC, which decided to hold the AICC plenary session at Raipur in February even as the new party chief demanded functional accountability from the AICC office-bearers. Even under the Congress’ non-Gandhi presidency, the role of the Gandhi-Vadra family appears to be growing as not only did the “euphoria” over the Rahul-led yatra dominate the deliberations — with even a proposal to set up a museum/foundation to hold Bharat Jodo photo exhibitions– but it was also decided that Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will have her own yatras, as leader of Congress ‘mahila (women) marches’ being planned at all state headquarters for two months after the culmination of the Bharat Jodo Yatra in Srinagar on Republic Day.

This is part of a two-month, three-tier ‘hath-se-hath-jodo yatras’ being planned from January-end during which letters from Rahul on his Yatra message and a chargesheet against the Modi regime will be distributed.

AICC general secretary (organisation) KC Venugopal and communication in-charge Jairam Ramesh said the “massive response” to the Bharat Jodo Yatra has prompted the Congress steering committee to conduct its follow-up programme “It is a three-tier programme; booth-village-block level padayatra, then district-level conventions of party workers and state-level rallies… Mahila march in every state capital, led by Priyanka Gandhi, will be part of this programme,” announced Venugopal. Vadra was absent at Sunday’s meeting, and post-announcement, her campers appeared happy about Vadra too getting her share of exclusive Yatras. Senior leaders, including Kharge, would be participating in the Hath-Jodo-Yatra. Digvijaya Singh and Ramesh gave a presentation on how the Rahul-led Yatra was progressing by generating euphoria among people and thus reviving the Congress Some members proposed Rahul must lead a “West-to-East” Bharat Jodo Yatra next year. Rahul didn’t attend the meeting as he was away on the Yatra.

Kharge Talk

In his first address to the steering committee, Kharge chose to sound like a tough-task matter, seeking functional accountability from AICC office-bears and asking them to reflect on whether they have earnestly carried out their brief. “Have you visited every district, held discussions with leaders, and understood the local problems? … Have district and block Congress committees been constituted, has the party organisation taken up people’s issues in tune with the ground reality, have freshers been given more opportunities at the block and district levels?”

Kharge demanded the AICC general secretaries/in-charges, PCC leaders and party legislators to bring their roadmaps within 1-3 months, for the next round of state elections and LS polls.

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