Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi on Thursday told party workers at a meeting of senior party leaders that they have to interact with people and issues from the ground and not just social media.
“We must have a concrete agitational agenda on issues of pressing concern to the people-whether they be economic or social. It is not enough to be active and aggressive on social media even though that too is needed and we need to do that better. Far more important is to go to the people directly,” she said.
Sonia Gandhi urged party leaders to not only remain active on social media but also connect with citizens directly in order to understand issues.
Her statement comes at a time when the party is struggling to recover from the twin shock of Rahul Gandhi’s resignation and poor performance in the general elections.
Sonia Gandhi also criticised the Narendra Modi-led NDA government over the ongoing economic slowdown across sectors and mounting job losses.
“We are meeting at a time when there is a prolonged economic slump when job losses are mounting by the day, when the confidence of the investors are getting shakier by the day, when the government appears more and more clueless and insensitive by the day,” she said.
She also highlighted how “vendetta politics” is at its peak at the moment, adding that those who speak against the establishment are being threatened and intimidated.
“Each and every institution is being diabolically subverted. The voices of dissent are being silenced,” she said.
“Democracy has never been at greater peril than it is now. As I said a few weeks back, the mandate of 2019 is now being misused and abused in a most dangerous fashion,” Sonia Gandhi added.
Asking party leaders to pull up their socks, Sonia Gandhi said that the entire country is depending on the opposition to confront and combat forces that continue to misrepresent the “true message” of Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel and BR Ambedkar.
“We must stand up fearlessly to fight on the streets, fight in villages, towns and cities. Our resolve and resilience are under severe test. We cannot afford to let our self-confidence and morale falter,” she said.
Highlighting that assembly elections are due in three states, Sonia Gandhi said the situation is challenging and advised members to work for the party’s interest.
“Nothing else other than party interests must be in our minds, it we will regain our lost position,” she said.
Sonia Gandhi ended her address by saying that Congress-ruled states of Punjab, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Puducherry will have to take a leading role and set an example of sensitive and responsive governance.
“We must be seen to be fulfilling our manifesto commitments. If not, we will lose people’s support with obvious consequences,” she concluded.