With Lok Sabha polls just eight months away, Congress plans to go to town on the Food Security and Land Acquisition bills with the message that Sonia Gandhi is taking forward the <i>Garibi hatao</i> plank championed by Indira Gandhi.
As part of preparations for a massive propaganda drive on the key measures, Congress is organising a workshop for its spokespersons and TV panelists on the Land Acquisition bill to explain the benefits of the proposed legislation. Similar exercise on the Food Security bill was undertaken recently by the AICC.
The two bills, passed by Lok Sabha and are expected to get the approval of Rajya Sabha this week, are seen by the ruling party as a "game changer" in the general elections. A Congress Chief Minister remarked that Sonia Gandhi is trying to fulfil the unfinished task of <i>Garibi Hatao</i> undertaken by Indira Gandhi by working for ending the hunger and malnutrition among the poor and downtrodden.
Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh will be explaining the benefits of the proposed legislation at the workshop tomorrow organised by party General Secretary Ajay Maken who heads the AICC Communication Department. Maken said the idea behind the workshop was to propagate the "good work" done by UPA and take the "positive work" of the government to people. After the workshop, plans are afoot to send the spokespersons to various states to apprise PCC office-bearers about the proposed legislation and also address media conferences.
The earlier workshop on the Food bill had seen food and consumer affairs minister K V Thomas explaining to the spokespersons the nuances of the much-touted legislation to educate them on the right-based scheme. A booklet with ready talking points has also been brought out to propagate the measure.
The refrain of party leaders like Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari is that the Food Security and Land Acquisition bills are two landmark initiatives taken by the UPA government, and have no parallels in history. They insist that it is for the first time in country's history that the poor will enjoy the right to highly subsidised food, and nobody will sleep hungry any more. Congress leaders have also been critical of the Opposition parties for "trying their best to scuttle these bills as they thought the Congress will gain from them."