Cong set to hold next CWC meet in BJP’S strong­hold Gu­jarat

Mint ST - - POLITICS - Anuja [email protected] NEW DELHI

The Congress seems to be tak­ing the fight to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’S strongholds as the 2019 Lok Sabha elec­tions near. The next meet­ing of the Congress Work­ing Com­mit­tee (CWC), the party’s apex de­ci­sion-mak­ing body, is set to be held in Gu­jarat.

The de­ci­sion by the top Congress lead­er­ship to hold the CWC meet­ing in Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi’s home state is be­ing seen as a deft strate­gic move ahead of cru­cial elec­tions, more so with party chief Rahul Gandhi try­ing to take on Naren­dra Modi directly on a se­ries of is­sues, in­clud­ing the con­tro­versy around the Rafale fighter jet deal.

The pre­vi­ous CWC meet­ing was held in Bjp-ruled Ma­ha­rash­tra’s Wardha dis­trict. The meet­ing also marked the be­gin­ning of Ma­hatma Gandhi’s 150th birth an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions. Se­nior party lead­ers said that Gu­jarat was an ob­vi­ous choice given that it was also the home state of Gandhi.

“Prior to the gen­eral elec­tions, two CWC meet­ings are likely to take place, out of which one is sched­uled for in Gu­jarat. Our party pres­i­dent has been re­peat­edly say­ing that we will play on the front foot. Whether it is Ut­tar Pradesh, where we are go­ing alone, or Gu­jarat, where we are go­ing to hold the meet, the party wants to send a mes­sage that we are tak­ing on the BJP and PM Modi directly,” a se­nior Congress leader from Gu­jarat said, re­quest­ing anonymity.

Party lead­ers also said that though the date has not yet been fixed, the meet­ing is likely to take place some­time this month, ei­ther in Por­ban­dar, which has his­tor­i­cal sig­nif­i­cance in Ma­hatma Gandhi’s life, or in the cap­i­tal Gand­hi­na­gar. The CWC meet­ing will also be at­tended by Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who was re­cently in­ducted as gen­eral sec­re­tary of the party.

Ac­cord­ing to an­other Congress leader, the sug­ges­tion was floated at a re­cent meet­ing of gen­eral sec­re­taries and state in-charges with party pres­i­dent Rahul Gandhi. “Party work­ers from Gu­jarat had re­quested to hold the CWC meet­ing in the state. The sug­ges­tion was ac­cepted in prin­ci­ple and the lead­ers from the state unit were asked to work out the de­tails,” he said, also re­quest­ing anonymity. much dif­fer­ent from the an­nual sur­vey’s find­ings?

I don’t ex­pect much vari­a­tion be­tween the an­nual data and the quar­terly data. All Western coun­tries pro­duce quar­terly em­ploy­ment data. We have quar­terly data on GDP, but no em­ploy­ment data. So, un­der a new sys­tem, we thought we will at­tempt to pro­duce quar­terly em­ploy­ment data. But in ru­ral ar­eas, quar­ter-to-quar­ter changes will hardly be any. So we thought let’s try for the ur­ban area at first. It is kind of a trial, for one or two years we will see. The an­nual re­ports are based on a first visit, the quar­terly will de­pend on the se­cond or third visit. They are two dif­fer­ent sur­veys—in the sense that the quar­terly re­ports you are ready­ing are only for ur­ban ar­eas, whereas this 2017-18 NSSO sur­vey is ru­ral plus


Congress chief Rahul Gandhi.

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