EDITED EXCERPTS FROM AN INTERVIEWS
What are the challenges before the Congress today?
There are state-specific issues to be addressed by the state Congress committees and the Congress legislative parties. The central leadership looks at issues that have a pan-Indian impact. We have to work out strategies to tackle right-wing fundamentalism and left-wing extremism. We have different strategies for where we are in power and where we are in the Opposition. The effort is to strengthen the party to connect better with the people.
Do you think the cadres are confused because Rahul Gandhi is not taking a proactive role in the party?
No, he is playing a proactive role. He has taken charge of the Youth Congress and the student body, the NSUI. And he heads the group in charge of preparing for the 2014 elections.
Do you think he is connecting well with the people of the country?
Yes, every time he visits the states, he stays there for 2-3 days, meets the Congress workers and also other people who are in politics. He has been constantly connecting with the people across the country.
There is a lot of Congress bashing on the social media. How are you going to counter this?
Our Election Coordination Committee has a sub-group on communication strategies, which will deal with the social media. Some motivated elements are using the social media to poison the minds of the youth through sustained campaigns based on halftruths. By February, we will have a strategy in place to counter their anti-Congress propaganda. We will be more active on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
There has been talk of a reshuffle in the AICC and the appointment of Rahul Gandhi at a senior level. Do you think something like that is still on the cards?
Yes. This may happen as soon as possible. It has been in the pipeline for a long time.