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Home / Politics / News /  Congress likely to unveil its crowdsourced poll manifesto on Tuesday

NEW DELHI : The Congress party is likely to launch its crowdsourced manifesto for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections on Tuesday, with party president Rahul Gandhi in presence.

The party had reached out to the masses last year to seek inputs for the manifesto. Apart from suggestions that came up in public and closed-door consultations, it had also used social media and other online media for the outreach.

According to the party’s official estimates, at the end of the process, which took more than six months, it had received 31,875 inputs on its official manifesto website. More than 4,038 people sent their inputs via WhatsApp and a total of 876 e-mails were received, giving suggestions for the manifesto. Interestingly, a total of 41 petitions were created on the website Change.org for the manifesto, which received a cumulative 161,492 signatures.

“The party has never before run a manifesto crowdsourcing campaign of this scale. We set up 20 sub-groups to focus on key issues. Based on the consultations and inputs received online, we created dossiers for each of the issues, added our research and created a draft. Thus, the manifesto really reflects the views of the people in line with the vision of the Congress president," Rajeev Gowda, Rajya Sabha member and convener of the manifesto committee, said.

The manifesto committee, which was chaired by former Union minister P. Chidambaram, was divided into 20 different sub groups which went into specific issues such as economy, agriculture, education and industry, among others. It held consultations in 57 Indian cities and in Dubai, which was a two-day event with participants from other countries as well.

“The exercise went beyond the number of inputs we got or the consultations we held. We went to a lot of cities and conducted local events there, which helped create a buzz that the party is listening seriously. The consultations went on for nearly five months and were an important source of outreach for us," Gowda told Mint.

Between last October and February this year, a total of 121 public consultations and 53 expert or closed-door consultations took place. Economists were consulted over the recently announced minimum income scheme, or Nyuntam Aay Yojana (NYAY), farm experts over rural distress, students and professionals over the issue of unemployment and education, among others.

In an interview with the PTI published on Friday, Gandhi had said the manifesto will reflect the people’s voices and not just one man’s view. He had also said that the manifesto will focus on job creation, addressing agrarian distress and strengthening the education and health sectors, besides charting a roadmap to boost economic growth.

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