Rahul's OBC outreach on Monday

Rahul's OBC outreach on Monday

Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who will be addressing the event, is expected to make some announcements to reach out to the community, which has virtually shunned the party in Hindi belt after the rise of regional parties led by OBC satraps.

At the convention, a blue print to revive the now defunct OBC cells could be unveiled.

The party last month appointed OBC leader Keshav Chandra Yadav as the chief of Youth Congress. Yadav hails from Eastern Uttar Pradesh, where Samajwadi Party's Mulayam Singh Yadav and his son Akhilesh Yadav are the considered leaders of the community.

Since Rahul took over the mantle of the Congress, there has been an attempt to increase the representation of the backward classes and Dalits in the party organisation. There is a view in a section of the party that one of the reasons for the rise of regional satraps among OBCs and Dalits is that when the Congress ruled the states, these communities were brought forth in leadership roles.

Bitter lessons

In the electorally crucial Uttar Pradesh, which has 80 Lok Sabha seats, OBCs constitute 45% of total population. In 2014, barring the seats of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi in Rae Bareli and Amethi, the Congress had lost in all other seats.

Congress MP and head of the OBC wing of the Congress Tamradhwaj Sahu was told by the party leadership some time back to visit states and collect data regarding the functioning of OBC cells. Sahu had been meeting the representatives of backward classes in different states ever since he was appointed the head of the OBC wing.

Sahu is an MP from Durg in Chhattisgarh, where the Congress had lost to BJP in the last Assembly polls in 2008 by a mere margin of 0.75% votes. OBCs constitute around 50% voters in Chhattisgarh.