Rahul Gandhi Meets A Dozen Of Muslim Intellectuals,Activists During His Outreach Programme

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New Delhi:As a part of the Congress outreachprogramme, party president Rahul Gandhi met a dozen of Muslim intellectuals and activists.The Congress plans to reach out to professionals, industrialists, civil society and all those who ‘influence public opinion’ and “are aligned to the party’s ideology” ahead of the 2019 LokSabha elections.

The exercise is similar to the ruling BharatiyaJanata Party’s (BJP) Sampark for Samarthan (Contact for Support) initiative launched on May 29 to mark the completion of four years of the NarendraModi government and with an eye on the 2019 polls.

Those who attended Wednesday’s interaction with Gandhi included economist Abusaleh Sharif, former Planning Commission member SyedaSaiyidainHameed, New Delhi-based historian S IrfanHabib, activist Farah Naqvi, educationists RakhshandaJalil and Ilyas Malik apart from Congress leaders Salman Khurshid and NadeemJaved.

In the interaction, Gandhi spoke about the future strategy of the Congress and his party’s greater acceptability among regional parties, including past adversaries such as the Telugu Desam Party (TDP). The meeting came in the backdrop of the Congress party’s efforts to carve out a wider “secular and democratic alliance”.

In a letter to state chiefs, Congress general secretary in-charge of organisation Ashok Gehlot has asked them to “maintain a database of potential influencers” as per the direction of Gandhi, who will be “expanding his efforts to engage” with a wider section of the society.

“In every state, there are large number of professionals, civil society, activists, journalists, artists, writers, etc., who are aligned to Congress ideology, but may not be members of Congress party. But they are influencing the public opinion on the need to safeguard the idea of India, through their activities,” read the letter dated June 30’

Under the Sampark for Samarthancqampaign, about 4,000 BJP functionaries, including chief ministers, union ministers and panchayat members across the country, will contact 100,000 eminent personalities.

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