New Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi has asked party men from poll-bound Karnataka to prepare a “people’s manifesto” on the lines of the manifesto made by the Congress in Gujarat. The Congress leaders are expected to interact with several stakeholders in the state and assimilate issues being raised from various quarters. The state is expected to go to polls in May.
“The exercise has already been undertaken by a team headed by senior Congress leader Veerappa Moily and it is expected to come out with an ‘all-encompassing manifesto’ much ahead of polling in the state,” a senior party leader said.
Mr Gandhi has specifically asked the leaders of Karnataka to make its development programmes the flagship of the Congress campaign and not get into the ‘Hindutva’ issue that is being raised by the BJP. State unit chief G Parmeshwara said, “I do not know whether there is anything called soft or hard Hindutva. What the Congress practises is ‘inclusive Hindutva’, or taking all sections of the people together. The essence of the Hindutva we practise is not to differentiate from one another.”
The Congress government in Karnataka has started Indira canteens that serve food at economical rates. Others schemes that the party will be focusing on are Ksheer Bhagya, Anna Bhagya, Krishi Bhagya, Indira Vastra Bhagya and several others.
In the recent Gujarat elections, technocrat Sam Pitroda was used by the Congress to assimilate issues that needed to be included in the party’s manifesto. It focused on education, health, small and medium enterprises, employment generation and environment protection. The AICC secretary incharge of Karnataka, Madhu Yashkhi Goud, said, “The party president has asked leaders to come out with a manifesto that truly reflects the expectations of the people of Karnataka. The Congress will seek feedback from all stakeholders.”
The Congress has also announced the formation of the Campaign Committee for the upcoming Karnataka assembly elections. It is being headed by senior leader D.K. Shivakumar. Other members include CM Siddaramaiah and state unit chief Dr G. Parmeshwar.