Congress eyes 70 cr 'NRMB' votes

Congress eyes 70 cr 'NRMB' votes

Congress eyes 70 cr 'NRMB' votes

Faced with a tough election, the Congress is leaving no stone unturned to reach out to every section  of the society. 

The new buzzword in the party is ‘NRMB’, an acronym for ‘not rich, not middle-class, not BPL’.

Party vice president Rahul Gandhi in his speech at the January 17 AICC meeting had estimated this section – just above the poverty line but below middle class – to number around 70 crore.

“These people put in their hard work and develop our country. They are the labourers, security guards, painters who build the nation. I want to assure them that Congress party will fight for them and I promise that in the coming five years, we will uplift them and will be listed among the middle class,” he had said.

Now, instructions have been sent by AICC general secretary Janardan Dwivedi to presidents of state units, legislature party leaders, AICC general secretaries, among others, to reach out to this group during the campaign.

34 sections identified

These 34 sections identified by the AICC include weavers in Uttar Pradesh, plantation workers in Kerala, Mumbai’s dabbawalas, fishermen, railway porters and street vendors.

Rahul himself has been engaging these sections of the society, who according to him, are just above the poverty line but below the middle class. People belonging to this sandwiched class tend to slip below poverty line when a member of their family falls ill. 
Congress leaders believe that the policies of the UPA, over the last 10 years, have helped pull 14 crore people above the poverty line and now it was the duty of the party to help them upgrade to the middle class. 

The focus on these groups could help the Congress prove wrong the opinion polls which have been projecting a rout for the party.

Only on Sunday, Rahul had said the Congress had failed to communicate effectively its message to the people.

“I think certainly we could have been more aggressive in conveying our achievements. As I said, we have done transformatory work. We could always be better in communication,” he said in an interview to a news agency.

Various opinion polls conducted ahead of the Lok Sabha election have projected severe losses for the Congress with some predicting that the party may be reduced to double digits in the 543-member Lok Sabha.

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