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Congress targets middle class for 2019 elections

File photo: Congress president Rahul Gandhi. Photograph:( PTI )

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Nov 28, 2018, 07.46 PM (IST) Written By: Kartikeya Sharma

Realising that middle class opinion matters most in the age of social media, Congress has formed Political Action Group (PAG) in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections in 2019. 

The PAG is a body which works under the parental body, the Professional Congress headed Dr Shashi Tharoor. The idea is to organise contacts across the country in middle and upper middle class who are pre-disposed towards Congress. The membership can be taken online and chapters automatically close once membership touches 100.

Every chapter of Professional Congress has a president and a vice-president and they are allowed to take up issues of their choice. They are also allowed to pick and organize there out-reach programme. 

The PAG also remains in touch with the overseas Congress and lastly, it wants these cells to be the networking platforms across the country. 

The idea is to curate debates and narratives which are close to Congress or independent and popular with the middle class. Congress feels that professionals can also be an independent feedback system to the party on the work which the ruling government is doing.

It is also expected to work as a platform for knowledge sharing whereby the expertise of the professionals can be shared, the party, in turn, can provide insight into the political process and functioning to the professionals.

WION spoke with Amita Singh who is part of the Political Action Group, she said that Professional Congress will be a platform for the middle class. 

“Educated professionals should start feeling that they can also contribute to the idea of India and that their opinion matters,” said Amita Singh. The AIPC will also curate discussions both nationally and regionally and one such discussion is being organized in Delhi on November 30th which is being moderated by Shashi Tharoor. The topic is, “Is India being redefined.”

Congress leaders Randeep Surjewala, Shashi Tharoor and P Chidambaram will be part of the discussion.

BJP shot to power in 2014 on the shoulder of an anti-corruption campaign headed by independent actors throughout the country. With social media, middle class opinion has become loud and influential. After the economic reforms, the Indian middle class has become larger and metamorphosed into a strong political constituency. 

Congress has a lot of catching up to do but feels that if it can organize the middle class to its advantage then it will have a fighting chance in urban areas during Lok Sabha elections.