No Ahinda push in Congress manifesto, says Moily

First meeting of party's manifesto commitee on October 29

No Ahinda push in Congress manifesto, says Moily

With the ruling Congress looking to expand its vote base ahead of the 2018 Assembly polls, the party’s manifesto is likely to be more broad-based without reflecting Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s Ahinda focus.

Ahinda is a Kannada acronym for minorities, backward classes and dalits.

“Social justice pervades many sections of people cutting across caste and community,” Karnataka Pradesh Congress Manifesto Committee chairman and MP M Veerappa Moily told DH on Tuesday. “Nobody should feel let down. Everyone has to feel a sense of belonging to the Congress party and its ideology,” he said. 

Siddaramaiah is widely considered an Ahinda leader. Since coming to power, the state government has launched several welfare schemes in line with its Ahinda focus.

The state government’s yet-to-be-published caste census report is likely to be discussed at the maiden meeting of the manifesto committee on October 29, Moily said.

Moily, a former Union minister, was convener of the committee that drafted the Congress manifesto for the 2009 Lok Sabha elections in which the UPA came back to power.

As part of the manifesto preparation process for the 2018 Assembly polls, Moily said several subject groups will be formed with focus areas. “One group will be tasked with reviewing the government’s performance. Sincerity is an important backdrop,” the former chief minister said. 

The manifesto committee will tour the state and reach out to stakeholders so that discussions are not confined to party workers.

“We have to maintain an equal balance. Urban areas, too, have vulnerable sections,” he said. Party units in each district will be asked to send in suggestions “so that the manifesto will have a flavour of the ground,” he said.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Moily gave full marks to the Siddaramaiah-led government.

“It’s the best government in India right now,” he said. He went on to slam the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre for its “inexperience” and “misgovernance” of the economy, holding demonetisation and GST as examples.

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