With two conclaves overlapping each other on similar issues, the Congress on Tuesday took a rare decision to cancel a key meeting at party president Sonia Gandhi’s Rae Bareli constituency. The party had planned to kick start its public consultation on its 2014 poll manifesto from her Lok Sabha seat on Wednesday.
The Rae Bareli meet was aimed to highlight, among other things, the issues of Dalits, to send a strong signal and consolidate the party’s position within the vulnerable section ahead of the polls.
Local Congress managers were asked to ensure presence of large number of Dalits for the meeting. Strategists observed last-minute glitches marring the preparations.
The Congress managers also tried to argue that many leaders are busy campaigning for assembly polls. The meeting has now been rescheduled after the poll results come out on December 8.
The top Congress leadership, however, found out that an exclusive Dalit conclave has also been planned for next week in Delhi to raise similar issues. The second meet is being organised by the Scheduled Castes cell of the Congress, and is aimed to get feedback from its representatives.
The party had organised a Dalit meeting last month where Rahul Gandhi famously pitched for “Jupiter’s escape velocity” for welfare of the section.
Apart from Sonia Gandhi, the Rae Bareli meeting was also scheduled to be attended by Rahul Gandhi, Salman Khurshid, and Jairam Ramesh.