Congress leaders on Tuesday met in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state to deliberate on poll strategy and discuss key issues like alliances and national security ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.
Led by president Rahul Gandhi and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, the party’s top leadership started discussions on key poll issues at a meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Memorial.
The party started the day by paying rich tributes to Mahatma Gandhi at the Sabarmati Ashram.
The day also marks the anniversary of the historic Dandi March, started by Mahatma Gandhi from Sabarmati Ashram on March 12, 1930.
It will also be the first official meeting of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who was appointed as Congress general secretary in-charge of western Uttar Pradesh recently.
The Congress leaders, while enumerating the key poll issues at the CWC meeting, said they will also discuss the issue of alliances.
Sources said the CWC is likely to authorise the party president to finalise alliances in key states with other like-minded parties in order to defeat the BJP ‘unitedly’.
They said the party was also likely to discuss the issue of national security and pass a resolution condemning terrorism of any kind.
The day-long meeting of the Congress Working Committee–the highest decision making body of the party– assumes significance as it comes barely two days after the declaration of the poll schedule.
The meeting is being held in Gujarat after a gap of 58 years. It was last held in the state at Bhavnagar in 1961.
The party will also hold a public meeting in Adalaj in Gandhinagar district of Gujarat with the slogan of ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan’. Priyanka Gandhi is also likely to address this meeting in her first public rally after entering politics.
Patidar leader Hardik Patel, who shot to fame by spearheading a quota stir in the state and is set to fight the Lok Sabha polls, will officially join the Congress at the meeting in the presence of party chief Rahul Gandhi.
The top Congress leadership led by Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, former prime minister Manmohan Singh and other senior leaders will also discuss issues of governance, agrarian and economic crisis, unemployment and lack of job creation, national security and women’s safety, ahead of Lok Sabha polls.
The party has maintained that the narrative for the general elections needs to be steered towards real issues and problems confronting people rather than the “propaganda” plank of the current regime, especially after the Pulwama attack and subsequent air strike on terror camps in Pakistan.
Sources said the party will issue a statement after the CWC, covering all these issues.
The Congress leaders feel that the party needs to demand answers from the prime minister on the status of the promises made by him five years ago and on his governance track record.