A gai bachao, kisan bachao (save cow, save farmers) padyatra in the Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh on Saturday, Tiranga yatras and an online campaign of a selfie with the national tricolour, the Congress seems eager to engage with issues that are perceived to be core to the politics of the BJP.
Instructing State units to organise different functions on the occasion of its 136th foundation on December 28, party general secretary (organisation) K.C. Venugopal wrote to State units that “Tiranga Yatras and other such innovative campaigns may also be organised following the necessary social distancing protocols. The PCCs [Pradesh Congress Committees] are also requested to pay solidarity to our fighting farmers who are sitting in an indefinite protest against the anti-farmers fam laws,”
On the 50th anniversary of the 1971 war next year, the party plans to showcase former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s “iron leadership” that forced the Pakistani Army to surrender and led to the creation of Bangladesh.
On December 16 which is celebrated as Vijay Diwas to commemorate the 1971 victory, former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi by tweeting that India’s neighbours respected territorial sovereignty then and the might of the Prime Minister’s Office.
On Friday, Mr. Gandhi again targeted the Modi government over it’s proposed “Tour of Duty” programme that seeks to attract civilians for a three-year service plan.
Tagging a critical opinion piece by former Indian Air Force chief B.S. Dhanoa, he tweeted, “Remember ‘someone’ who explained radar to the Indian Air Force. This idea bears the imprint of the same mind. The Indian Army is a fighting force, not a tourist destination.”
His sister and party general secretary, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, too has been raising issues such the pitiable condition of gaumata (mother cow) in U.P. under Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath government.
After writing to the U.P. CM to take inspiration from Congress-ruled Chhattisgarh on how to look after cattle, on December 26 the party plans to take out a padayatra from Sojna in Lalitpur district to Chitrakoot (Madhya Pradesh) in the Bundelkhand region to highlight the plight of cattle in U.P. government supervised gaushalas (cow shelter).
Accusing the U.P. government of putting their leaders under house arrest, All India Congress Committee (AICC) secretary Rohit Chaudhary said, “The condition of gaumata is in pitiable condition in the gaushalas of U.P. To ensure justice, U.P. Congress president Ajay Kumar Lallu-ji will definitely take out padayatra no matter what.”
As the Congress tries to reset its strategies to take on the BJP, some party members are apprehensive. “We cannot defeat the BJP on their issues. Instead, we should focus on our core strengths including a reiteration of secularism,” a senior leader said.