Alarmed by Team Anna's onslaught on the Congress, the party think-tank wants chief minister Prithviraj Chavan to be projected as the face of the party in the state to salvage its image. Chavan was brought in as the CM in response to the Adarsh scam when the party needed an image makeover.
As suggested on Saturday by state Congress chief Manikrao Thakre, Chavan brainstormed with selected leaders - senior ministers were not invited - at the party headquarters at Tilak Bhavan.
The think tank decided that the party should avoid taking a confrontational approach to Hazare's agitation but it must also try to nullify the charges leveled at them in an effective manner. Congress' ally, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), added fuel to fire on Saturday when its general secretary said that Hazare's arrest was unfortunate and the Congress-led government took the decision without consulting partners.
A leader, who attended the meeting told HT that Chavan was very cautious in his approach. “ We told him that it was time for some concrete steps to avoid further damage to the Congress,” he said.
The meeting convinced Chavan to help the party in mobilising workers to negate the ill effects of the Hazare protest. A core group led by Anant Gadgil, Ratnakar Mahajan and Sanjay Dutt will plan a strategy to counter charges though a booklet that will be circulated across the state. Through the booklet, the party will advocate its stand on the Lokpal bill and harp on the action taken against corruption.
Leaders in the district organisations will be trained for representing the party's side without making any adverse remark against Hazare.