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HindustanTimes Wed,16 Apr 2014

Govt to sell reforms pitch aggressively

Saubhadra Chatterji , Hindustan Times  New Delhi, October 12, 2012
First Published: 00:21 IST(12/10/2012) | Last Updated: 00:25 IST(12/10/2012)

After aggressively pushing through its long-pending agenda of economic reforms, the UPA now plans a publicity blitzkrieg to thwart the Opposition’s political smear campaign and spread its message to the aam aadmi.

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The move comes after Congress president Sonia Gandhi directed coalition managers to launch a counter-offensive against the political onslaught over the reforms process. Several party leaders, who met Gandhi recently, were told that “reaching out to the people” should be the key.

Commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma has provided documents and CDs on FDI policies to party units and food minister KV Thomas has written to all chief ministers emphasising PDS reforms and the Union government’s expenses of R91,213 crore for the distribution of foodgrains to the states. Sharma has also highlighted how the Centre has given additional allocation to the states during this year.

Meanwhile, the GoM on media will travel to state capitals to hold special press conferences, even as the government has prepared FAQs on FDI policy. “This series will start on October 15 from Bhubaneswar, followed by meets at Chennai, Lucknow, Patna and Bangalore,” Neelam Kapur, principal director general of the press information bureau, said.

Rural development minister Jairam Ramesh will lead a political rally in the backward ‘Jangalmahal’ area of West Bengal on October 16 to take on its estranged ally, the Trinamool Congress. “We will highlight how central schemes play a key role for development of backward areas,” Ramesh said.

Meanwhile, the Congress  leadership has directed its state units to hold meetings at various levels to highlight the achievements of the UPA government. Top Congress leaders are expected to travel around the country to campaign for the reforms initiative to showcase its benefits. Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi also highlighted its benefits at two consecutive tours to J&K and Punjab.

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