The Congress on Friday formed a panel of 36 leaders who will articulate the party’s views in the electronic media as part of its preparations for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
Many young leaders have been brought in to participate in discussions and debates on television news channels in an attempt to change the public perception about the party and the UPA government.
Besides the eight national spokespersons, the panel has as many union ministers, including Jyotiraditya Scindia, Manish Tewari, Jayanthi Natarajan, Sachin Pilot and Shashi Tharoor.
The list also includes Rahul Gandhi’s close aide and Lok Sabha MP Meenakshi Natarajan, a media shy who kicked up a storm last year with her proposed controversial private member’s bill that contained a series of draconian measures to gag the media.
Facing criticism even from her own party members, Natarajan was forced to shelve her idea to introduce the ‘Print and Electronic Media Standards and Regulation Bill, 2012’ in the 2012 budget session.
Another new face is Krishna Byre Gowda, a Rahul favourite who was sworn in as a minister in Karnataka. This young leader from the Vokkaliga community is a graduate from the American University in Washington.
Rajeev Gowda, a professor of public policy at the IIM- Bangalore and a party spokesman in Karnataka, Priyanka Chaturvedi, a blogger and a member of the Mumbai Youth Congress, Sanjay Jha, ex-banker and founder of CricketNext.com, Deepender Hooda, RPN Singh, Ashok Tanwar, Rajeev Satav and Nadeem Javed have also been taken in the panel. While Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Sanjay Nirupam and Girija Vyas have been retained, the names of Ghulam Nabi Azad, CP Joshi and Jairam Ramesh and Ambika Soni are missing from the list.