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Upbeat Over SC/ST Gains In Lok Sabha Polls, Congress To Mobilize Communities Ahead of Upcoming State Elections

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By Amit Agnihotri

Published : Jul 10, 2024, 3:18 PM IST

Updated : Jul 10, 2024, 3:25 PM IST

With the Congress winning 37 SC-ST dominated seats in the Lok Sabha election 2024 in its total tally of 99, the grand old party is eyeing inroads to take the momentum forward by mobilizing the communities in the state elections scheduled to be held in the next two years.

Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi (L) with party president Mallikarjun Kharge during a meeting
Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi (L) with party president Mallikarjun Kharge during a meeting (ANI)

New Delhi: Upbeat over the huge response from the SC/ST communities in the Lok Sabha polls, Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge and Leader of the Opposition Rahul Gandhi have launched a plan to mobilize the communities in eight states that will go to polls over the next two years.

Out of the 99 Congress MPs in the Lok Sabha, 37 belong to the SC-ST communities, indicating the response that Rahul Gandhi’s ‘Save Constitution’ campaign had on the voters, said party insiders, adding that the grand old party must now take forward the momentum to have electoral benefit in the coming state elections.

Though this is a nationwide initiative of the Congress, it will be launched initially in states like Maharashtra, Haryana, UT Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Delhi, Bihar, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu that will have polls over the next two years.

As per the plan, the grand old party will hold district-level conventions involving the civil society groups to educate the voters on how the Constitution empowers and protects the marginalized communities.

“The entire campaign is based on the idea to take the “Save Constitution” drive forward. The idea actually germinated during Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra. Later, he ran a campaign during the national elections which flagged how the ruling BJP was weakening the Constitution that protects the marginalized communities. The response from the voters was huge and now we want to take our campaign forward,” AICC National Coordinator for SC, ST, OBC and Minority Departments K Raju told ETV Bharat.

“Rahul Gandhi held three ‘Save Constitution’ conventions for SC/ST groups during the Lok Sabha campaign in Delhi, Lucknow and Panchkula. Earlier, all the four AICC departments related to minorities, SC, ST and OBC had organized state-level conventions over the issue. Now we want to deepen this discussion through district-level Samvidhan Samman Sammelan,” he said.

According to Raju, the roll out plan for Maharashtra was chalked out during a meeting with party and civil society leaders in Mumbai on July 3 and he will soon visit the rest of the states.

“These are leaders who have headed various movements in the past. They will visit and address the district-level conventions. The day-long discussions would be around the relevance of the Constitution for the local communities like SC, ST, farmers, ordinary citizens and the threats to the important book. Later, a state-level convention will be addressed either by Mallikarjun Kharge or Rahul Gandhi,” he said.

The party has been focusing on reviving its traditional Dalit vote bank since the election of Kharge as Congress president in 2022. After taking charge, Kharge had launched a long-term program to cultivate and win back the marginalized communities, who had moved to the regional parties in the states.

The plan was started in 212 reserved assembly seats in four states Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana ahead of assembly polls there and later covered 61 reserved Lok Sabha constituencies ahead of 2024 elections.

“Now the party is planning to appoint Samvidhan Rakshaks at the district-level to mobilize the marginalized communities,” said SC department head Rajesh Lilothia.

  1. Read more: Congress To Review West Bengal Strategy, To Revamp State Unit Soon
  2. Rahul Gandhi Urges PM Modi to Visit Violence-hit Manipur, Says Congress Ready To Help Bring Peace

New Delhi: Upbeat over the huge response from the SC/ST communities in the Lok Sabha polls, Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge and Leader of the Opposition Rahul Gandhi have launched a plan to mobilize the communities in eight states that will go to polls over the next two years.

Out of the 99 Congress MPs in the Lok Sabha, 37 belong to the SC-ST communities, indicating the response that Rahul Gandhi’s ‘Save Constitution’ campaign had on the voters, said party insiders, adding that the grand old party must now take forward the momentum to have electoral benefit in the coming state elections.

Though this is a nationwide initiative of the Congress, it will be launched initially in states like Maharashtra, Haryana, UT Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Delhi, Bihar, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu that will have polls over the next two years.

As per the plan, the grand old party will hold district-level conventions involving the civil society groups to educate the voters on how the Constitution empowers and protects the marginalized communities.

“The entire campaign is based on the idea to take the “Save Constitution” drive forward. The idea actually germinated during Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra. Later, he ran a campaign during the national elections which flagged how the ruling BJP was weakening the Constitution that protects the marginalized communities. The response from the voters was huge and now we want to take our campaign forward,” AICC National Coordinator for SC, ST, OBC and Minority Departments K Raju told ETV Bharat.

“Rahul Gandhi held three ‘Save Constitution’ conventions for SC/ST groups during the Lok Sabha campaign in Delhi, Lucknow and Panchkula. Earlier, all the four AICC departments related to minorities, SC, ST and OBC had organized state-level conventions over the issue. Now we want to deepen this discussion through district-level Samvidhan Samman Sammelan,” he said.

According to Raju, the roll out plan for Maharashtra was chalked out during a meeting with party and civil society leaders in Mumbai on July 3 and he will soon visit the rest of the states.

“These are leaders who have headed various movements in the past. They will visit and address the district-level conventions. The day-long discussions would be around the relevance of the Constitution for the local communities like SC, ST, farmers, ordinary citizens and the threats to the important book. Later, a state-level convention will be addressed either by Mallikarjun Kharge or Rahul Gandhi,” he said.

The party has been focusing on reviving its traditional Dalit vote bank since the election of Kharge as Congress president in 2022. After taking charge, Kharge had launched a long-term program to cultivate and win back the marginalized communities, who had moved to the regional parties in the states.

The plan was started in 212 reserved assembly seats in four states Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana ahead of assembly polls there and later covered 61 reserved Lok Sabha constituencies ahead of 2024 elections.

“Now the party is planning to appoint Samvidhan Rakshaks at the district-level to mobilize the marginalized communities,” said SC department head Rajesh Lilothia.

  1. Read more: Congress To Review West Bengal Strategy, To Revamp State Unit Soon
  2. Rahul Gandhi Urges PM Modi to Visit Violence-hit Manipur, Says Congress Ready To Help Bring Peace
Last Updated : Jul 10, 2024, 3:25 PM IST
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