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Rahul Gandhi to form panels with Jairam Ramesh at helm

The Congress will constitute a coordination panel for the upcoming elections with Jairam Ramesh as its chairperson.

india Updated: May 26, 2018 07:29 IST
Saubhadra Chatterji
Saubhadra Chatterji
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Congress,Rahul Gandhi,Jairam Ramesh
Congress president Rahul Gandhi will set up two key panels in his party with an eye on the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.(PTI File Photo)

Before leaving for the Kailash Mansarovar pilgrimage, Congress president Rahul Gandhi will set up two key panels in his party with an eye on the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and to revive the organisation’s fortune in the national capital.

The Congress will constitute a coordination panel for the upcoming elections with Jairam Ramesh as its chairperson. The other panel, also headed by Ramesh, will reach out to intellectuals and cerebrals of the city to earn support for the party.

The coordination panel is also likely to have the party’s Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, deputy leader in Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma and Gandhi’s close aide K Raju among others.

Ramesh, however, said: “I have no idea about this panel.”

The coordination panel will look into all aspects of preparations for elections and keep close contact with the Congress president as well as UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi’s office.

A senior Congress functionary added, “Gandhi and Ramesh have held at least two meetings in the recent past on the formation of the panel and the preparations for the 2019 polls. Last week, due to the Karnataka situation, no further talks were held. A formal decision is expected soon.”

The main aim of the other panel, to be constituted with mo- stly Delhi leaders and a few intellectuals, is to open new channels of communication with civil society and intellectuals of the city.

This will be the first time the Congress will form such a panel to create a new ground of free interaction for activists, civil society and intellectuals and use their inputs for the improvement of the party. The move comes years after Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) founder Arvind Kejriwal was able to attract several apolitical intellectuals and professionals to his party.

The Congress has suffered a big blow in Delhi—where it ruled for three consecutive terms — after the AAP launched its outfit and swept public emotions and votes. The new panel will also be formed in sync with Gandhi’s vision to attract more professionals and intellectuals to the party and involve them in different activities of the Congress.

First Published: May 26, 2018 07:28 IST