NEW DELHI: In the backdrop of a surge in cases of covid-19 in the country, Congress party president Sonia Gandhi on Saturday announced setting up of a high-level committee to formulate the party's response on critical national issues.
The key focus of the 11-member committee, chaired by former prime minister Manmohan Singh and comprising former party president Rahul Gandhi, among others, will be the socio-economic impact of the pandemic, senior leaders aware of developments said.
The party has been critical of the government's handling of the pandemic and the consequent lockdown.
The Congress party has held virtual press conferences with its chief ministers and senior regional leaders over the last fortnight, and both Sonia and Rahul Gandhi have written a series of letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi drawing his government's attention to issues related to the lockdown.
To ensure a well thought-out economic response to the lockdown, the committee also has former union minister P. Chidambaram, party's technology and data cell chief Praveen Chakravarty, former journalist and senior leader Supriya Shrinate.
Former rural development minister Jairam Ramesh is expected to share insights on the impact on rural households and economy. Former union minister and Lok Sabha MP Manish Tewari and senior leader Gaurav Vallabh is also part of the committee.
"The consultative group will meet virtually, normally everyday, to deliberate on matters of current concerns and formulate views of the party on various issues," according to a party statement on Saturday.
Senior office bearers of the party including general secretary in-charge of organisation K C Venugopal, communication department head Randeep Singh Surjewala and social media head Rohan Gupta are also part of the committee.