As it battles the perception of being pro-rural, the Congress plans to showcase key reforms to woo the urban voters for the 2014 general election.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi is learnt to have directed key strategists to prepare a draft on the reforms measures and its impact. Accordingly, an initial list of reforms has been prepared comprising of 23 heads. The list speaks primarily about measures taken since June 2012. According to top sources, a few rounds of internal discussions have also taken place on how to package these initiatives for voters.
The emphasis was laid after the internal assessment of the Congress had termed urban seats as “tough challenge” in 2014. The corruption charges and price rise, the party strategists fear, can take a bigger toll in urban areas. In the 2009 polls, the UPA had managed to get majority of the urban seats, helping it to take the Lok Sabha tally to 207 Lok Sabha seats. Out of the 168 city constituencies, the UPA won 92 (or 54%) of them.
The draft note divides the long list of reforms into two sections: finance and infrastructure.
Among the highlights are: the Cabinet Committee on Investment (CCI) fast tracking projects, procurement law to bring transparency, Direct Benefits Transfer to control fraud and diversion and financial inclusion.
The move also comes in the backdrop of the Opposition’s charge that the UPA has miserably failed to handle the economy, leading to price rise and unemployment. “None of the reforms of the UPA is aimed to help the aam aadmi.
They were done to satisfy the West and serve the interest of corporate,” CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta said.