Congress not to call its trainers ‘preraks’ after objections
Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Thursday rejected the term Preraks (motivators) for the party’s organisational trainers after some leaders objected to it arguing that it appears to have been borrowed from the expressions the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) uses, said a party functionary familiar with the development.
The functionary, who was present at a meeting of the party’s central office-bearers, chief ministers and state presidents on Thursday where the matter was discussed, said Gandhi later asked training department in-charge Sachin Rao to come with a fresh list of names. Till then, the party decided to call Preraks coordinators.
Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar was among the leaders, who objected to the Prerak term, saying the party has already been accused of borrowing the concept from the RSS, the ideological mentor of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Soon other leaders joined in, insisting that the Congress does not need inspiration from the RSS.
The RSS has Pracharaks or full-time volunteers to take the organisation’s ideology to the masses. While Pracharaks are involved in various activities, including organising shakhas (camps) and undertaking voluntary social work, they are forbidden from participating in electoral politics.
A note prepared for the meeting and accessed by HT described a Prerak as the chief resource person who will “envision, design and deliver” training skills to Congress workers.
It said Preraks would be those with organisational experience, commitment to Congress ideology, willingness to give time and capacity to convey ideas and motivate.
The role of the Prerak listed included helping state units create annual training calendar, content for state-level topics, identify external resource persons and experts apart from organising monthly discussions on current issues at district party offices.
The note also mentioned that the identification of potential Preraks will be done by September 30 and interviews to select them by October 31. While the training camps for Preraks were proposed to start by November 7, the state-level programmes were scheduled to start by November 30.
The party was to have three Preraks in each division, comprising of 4-5 districts, in a state but their appointment was to be finalised once they worked in the field for three months.