Humbled in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections securing just 44 seats, the Congress is putting in place a revival plan which includes launching a mass contact programme, banking on distractions of the prime minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government and also raising the issue of recurrence of communal incidents.
Among the suggestions on the table is to emulate BJP patriarch LK Advani's yatra style politics by undertaking a similar nationwide yatra under party vice-president Rahul Gandhi to connect with the masses by highlighting Modi government's unkempt promises.
Party sources said the suggestion was still at an infancy stage and majority view amongst party leaders was to await the completion of forthcoming assembly polls. "Since party machinery will remain focused on these assembly polls, it will be suicidal to distract them," a senior leader told dna, while confirming that such a plan was on the table. And also to take such a massive yatra, possibly from Sriperumbudur town in Tamil Nadu, where late prime minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated, a massive mobilisation is required to make it a success.
The leaders are of the opinion that soon after her defeat in 1977 elections, late prime minister Indira Gandhi had revived the party in just two years by undertaking a massive mass contact campaign, addressing one rally in each district of country. That helped the party to return to power, once the Janata Party government crumbled.
While a top-level party leaders' meeting held at 10 Janpath recently picked up the rally plan to expose the communal face of Narendra Modi, there were apprehensions that it might backfire. Some of the leaders reminded that it would amount of replaying the minority card, which has failed to yield results for the party in the Lok Sabha polls. "We are awaiting for many more distractions of Modi government, on economic and political fronts, in order to take these issues to people in proper perspective," said the leader.
Expecting the programme to be launched on a grand scale named 'Sadbhavana Yatra' opposed to Advani's 'Rath Yatra" the party leaders said it shall require a lot of preparations, coordination and selection of the right time.
Asked why not immediately when the party needs an urgent boost, party leaers said this is not the time for such a movement when the entire party has to gear up for the next challenge of the upcoming elections in four states. They said it is certainly one of the action plans cleared at the topmost level, hinting that party president Sonia Gandhi has approved of the strategy to corner Modi.