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Saturday, Oct 19, 2019

Congress to appoint ‘preraks’ on RSS model of mass contact

The party will have three Preraks in each division comprising 4-5 districts in a state but their appointment will be finalised once they work in the field for three months, according to people aware of the developments.

india Updated: Sep 10, 2019 08:28 IST
Aurangzeb Naqshbandi
Aurangzeb Naqshbandi
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
The Congress suffered its second crushing national election defeat in a row and managed to win just 52 of 542 seats in the April-May Lok Sabha polls.
The Congress suffered its second crushing national election defeat in a row and managed to win just 52 of 542 seats in the April-May Lok Sabha polls.(HT FILE)
         

The Congress will soon have groups of Preraks or motivators across the country to “envision, design and deliver” training skills to its workers as part of efforts to scale-up its mass contact programmes following a series of electoral setbacks, according to a party functionary familiar with the plan.

The Preraks will “inspire and inform” the workers about the party’s ideology and history besides preparing them to engage with the masses on a regular basis, the functionary added.

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s ideological mentor, the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), has Pracharaks or full-time volunteers to take the organisation’s ideology to the masses. Pracharaks organise shakhas (camps) and undertake voluntary social work but are forbidden from participating in electoral politics in principle. The Preraks will have no such bar.

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The idea of having Preraks emerged during a day-long workshop the Congress organised in Delhi on September 3, months after former Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi asked the party to follow the RSS model of mass contact to win elections.

The Congress suffered its second crushing national election defeat in a row and managed to win just 52 of 542 seats in the April-May Lok Sabha polls. The drubbing forced Rahul Gandhi, who also lost from his family’s pocket borough of Amethi but won another seat in Wayanad, Kerala, to step down as the Congress chief.

A note prepared after the workshop underlined that the regular development of party workers at all levels is a fundamental requirement of a political organisation. It added for that, it is essential to have an institutional capacity that Preraks will provide.

The note said that Preraks should have organisational experience so that the workers understand and respect them apart from an “unquestioned commitment” to the Congress.

“They must have a deep belief and commitment to the idea of training and must be willing to give time and energy to the process. They should have the capacity to win trust and respect from everyone and be free from groupism and respectful to the workers,” said the note, which has been accessed by HT.

Each Prerak will have to undergo a training of 5-7 days to build their knowledge and confidence,” said the document.

The party will have three Preraks in each division comprising 4-5 districts in a state but their appointment will be finalised once they work in the field for three months, according to people aware of the developments.

Once trained, Preraks will conduct monthly Sangathan Samvads (Organisational Dialogues) at every district party office to discuss current national and state political issues.

Apart from identifying resource persons and experts in different fields at district and state levels and creating a training calendar, they will also prepare content related to local issues.

The state units have been asked to identify Preraks immediately and submit a list to the All India Congress Committee by September-end, the people added.

Congress’s interim president Sonia Gandhi will review the progress of the training process and a membership drive at a meeting of general secretaries, in-charges of states, state chiefs and legislature party leaders on September 12.

First Published: Sep 09, 2019 23:50 IST

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