New Delhi: The Congress on Sunday announced that it will hold a three-day plenary session in Chhattisgarh’s Raipur in the second half of February next year.
The party also announced that as a follow-up to the Bharat Jodo Yatra, it will run a massive campaign ‘Haath se haath jodo abhiyaan’ from January 26 for two months as part of which padyatras will be taken out and a letter from Rahul Gandhi talking about the core message of the yatra will be distributed among the people along with a ‘charge sheet’ against the Modi government.
The decisions were taken at the first meeting of the Congress steering committee constituted by party chief Mallikarjun Kharge.
The Committee unanimously resolved that the 85th Plenary Session of the Congress will be held at Raipur in the second half of February 2023, Congress general secretary K C Venugopal said at a press conference reading out a party statement.
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“We will have a discussion on various subjects at this three-day plenary session. There will also be a big public meeting,” Venugopal said.
He said the steering committee meeting also held a review of the Bharat Jodo Yatra and a future course of action was decided upon.
“It has been decided that a massive campaign ‘Haath se haath jodo abhiyaan’ will be carried out from January 26 for two months. As per this campaign, block level padyatra covering all gram panchayats and booths, will be carried out,” he said.
Congress general secretary in-charge communications Jairam Ramesh said the party is aiming to finish the Kanyakumari to Srinagar yatra by January 26.
It will enter Delhi on December 24 and the containers will be serviced for a few days here, he said.
In a statement, the party said the committee noted the “overwhelming success” of the Bharat Jodo Yatra and the wide participation of lakhs of people.
“The Yatra listens to and speaks with people from all sections of society every day, especially youth, women, farmers and the working class, directly communicating its message of equality, fraternity and harmony. It is the same message which India’s spiritual leaders and social reformers preached, the leaders of our freedom struggle under Mahatma Gandhi fought for, and our Constitution upholds,” the party said.
“The Committee particularly appreciated the leadership of former president Rahul Gandhi, whose ‘tapasya’, unfailing determination, and love for India and her people have been critical to the success of the Yatra,” the party said.
The party said that while India faces challenges, the prime minister continues to “deny, distract and divide”.
“His inflammatory rhetoric during the recent election campaigns in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh has further polarised the polity and society at a time when serious discussion and debate are needed,” he said.
Congress president Kharge, former party chief Sonia Gandhi, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, his Chhattisgarh counterpart Bhupesh Baghel, general secretary in-charge organisation Venugopal, senior leaders P Chidambaram, Anand Sharma, Meira Kumar and Ambika Soni were among those who attended the meeting.
Rahul Gandhi did not attend the meeting due to the Bharat Jodo Yatra which is set to enter Rajasthan on Sunday evening.
The steering committee was formed in place of the Congress Working Committee (CWC), the highest decision-making body of the party after Kharge took charge in October.
All members of the CWC were made part of the steering committee soon after Kharge assumed charge as the Congress president.