At a time when political parties are debating the ramifications of two Supreme Court judgments on immediate disqualification of MPs and MLAs convicted by courts and banning those in jail from contesting elections, the Congress has stepped up to the plate.
In an internal exercise, the party wants to know whether any of its faces have criminal cases pending against them.
Apart from various details, the All India Congress Committee (AICC), in the registration form for the upcoming media workshop, has categorically asked the spokespersons from across the country to provide details if there were criminal cases pending against them in courts.
This is in line with Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi's long-term strategy to combat criminalisation of politics. It has been his avowed objective to keep the criminal element away from the Congress and he had promised on several occasions in the past that those with criminal record will not be given organisational responsibilities or election tickets.
The two-day workshop from July 22 will be attended by around 200 party people. Apart from 36 faces at the national level, five leaders from each state and 15 functionaries each from NSUI and the Youth Congress have been called for the conclave where the leadership will identify and train the talent to not only tone up its media machinery in all the states but also consider them for various organisational positions.
Professional trainers will train them in research and dissemination of information on various platforms of convention and social media. The spokespersons will be explained the nuances of putting across effectively the party viewpoint on various issues.
The party has spokespersons in all states but lack of organised communication set-up and media machinery were being felt by the central leadership for a long time.