In the second meeting of Congress’ manifesto committee, headed by Union Defence Minister A K Antony, Rahul Gandhi that said all worthwhile suggestions from the people should be incorporated and there is a need to look at the issues seriously. AK Antony, P Chidambaram, Sushil Kumar Shinde, Anand Sharma, Salman Khurshid, Sandeep Dikshit, Ajit Jogi, Renuka Chowdhary, P L Punia, Mohan Gopal, Jairam Ramesh and Digvijay Singh are members of the manifesto committee.
The panel had first met on August 9, which was merely an exchange of views on issues. Rahul Gandhi has been telling Congress leaders for quite some time that there is a need to involve people from grassroot in policy-making and inputs should also be taken from block Congress committees when the party finalises the manifesto. This was one of the highlights of his speech during Congress’ ‘Chintan Shivir’ held in Jaipur in January this year after he was appointed as Congress Vice-President.
Rahul Gandhi in the meeting said that a system needs to be evolved so that the suggestions are collated subject-wise and then considered for inclusion in the manifesto. Union Minister Jairam Ramesh was asked to create a timetable on how to go ahead with the plan. In a rally in Alwar, Rajasthan, on October 23, Rahul Gandhi had launched the party website http://www.incmanifesto.in, which opens with a declaration by Congress.
It has so far received over 4,000 suggestions. The website says, “We invite every citizen of India to give us their ideas and suggestions for the 2014 Lok Sabha Election Manifesto of the Congress Party. The Congress is the first party to open up its national manifesto-building process to the general public. “In addition to this website, the Congress Party is holding direct public consultations across the country to empower the voice of those who do not have access to the Internet.
All ideas and suggestions you provide will be presented to the national leadership of the Congress and will be duly considered for inclusion in the manifesto. Your voice will build the Congress manifesto,” it says. The party has thanked the people for sending in over a thousand suggestions since its launch. Universal free health care, safety of women, solution to the Naxal issue, freedom from open defecation and treating education differently from a product are some of the suggestions that people have made on the website in the last few days.
Rahul Gandhi has been saying that the Congress Party’s manifesto should decided by the youth, women and common people.
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