Congress to launch nationwide stir against price rise from Nov 14
The Congress has announced a 15-day “Jan Jagran Abhiyan” from November 14 on price rise, the first of a series of mass contact programmes it is planning that will highlight people’s concerns.
The party believes the Narendra Modi government has not been singed by the galloping fuel prices because people are not aware of the basic facts, and has decided to explain through the campaign how the Centre has “looted” Rs 23 lakh crore over the past seven years through taxes on petroleum products.
“Even after the reduction of taxes last week, the central excise on petrol is Rs 29 per litre which was just Rs 9.48 during the Congress-led UPA regime. On diesel, the central excise is Rs 28 per litre against Rs 3 in 2014,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said on Wednesday.
Senior leaders K.C. Venugopal and Digvijaya Singh announced the detailed programme on Wednesday. Instead of holding big public rallies, the party has asked its leaders to take out a padyatra in every district to establish live contact with the masses and ensure a two-way interaction.
The leaders have been asked to stay in the districts overnight to be able to participate in discussions with residents on their concerns and grievances. All the senior leaders will participate in foot marches for at least seven days between November 14 and 29.
Pamphlets and theme songs for the campaign are ready; a toll-free number will be unveiled through which people can register their support for the cause; the social media department is preparing to live-stream events and the data analytics department plans to use the call details to continue further conversation.
The party aims to make this programme a success and follow it up with similar agitations on unemployment, farmers’ problems, labour issues and the sale of national assets. This would change the perception of the Congress as being restricted to social media while Rahul Gandhi alone leads the party’s public outreach initiatives.
The campaigns have been structured to ensure the participation of every leader.
A committee on sustained agitations, headed by Digvijaya, has been tasked with the planning and execution of these campaigns to ensure continuity. Control rooms have been set up at the state and central levels to monitor the activities.