It is reality versus rationale as the Congress’s grapples with the implications of oil price rise and inflation on the people by explaining to them the global factors behind them.
After Prime Minister Manmohan Singh came on air to talk directly to the people on the issue, the party is now busy preparing a set of documents to explain the rationale behind the spiralling inflation and food and oil prices and to counter the BJP’s allegations that the UPA was not only incapable of battling terrorism or ensuring internal security but was also unleashing “economic terrorism” on the people.
Meant to equip them with talking points, these documents will be distributed to party cadres who have to bear the brunt of the people's anger as they go about soliciting support for the party and are often confronted with questions over continually rising prices.
Meeting on Saturday, the AICC's publicity committee, which includes Amethi MP Rahul Gandhi, decided to bring out four booklets – on the petroleum price hike, inflation, internal security and farmers’ loan waiver – as part of its communications strategy ahead of the crucial year-end assembly elections and the Lok Sabha polls next year.
A string of electoral defeats has sapped the workers' morale and even threatened to eclipse the UPA government's achievements. Meanwhile, the Future Challenges Group, which also includes Rahul, met to discuss the strategy for the assembly and Lok Sabha polls. The group has already finalised its report on intra-party reforms for submission to Congress President Sonia Gandhi.
The recommendations of this group are likely to find reflection in the report of the seven-member A.K. Antony-led panel Sonia set up after the Karnataka polls to reenergise the party machinery for the next round of elections. This is because Digvijay Singh and Mukul Wasnik are members of this panel as well as the committees on publicity and future challenges which met on Saturday. The Antony panel is expected to submit its report by June 20.