Aiming to spread its network at the panchayat level across Uttar Pradesh before the assembly elections next year, Congress has put former MP Meenakshi Natarajan, chairperson of Rajiv Gandhi Panchayati Raj Sangathan, on the task.
Existing in 18 districts of eastern UP at present, party now aims to spread the organisation all across the state by starting “Netritva Talah Abhiyan”, something that it had experimented in Bihar as well.
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Meenakshi, who was in Lucknow Sunday, held meeting with coordinators and volunteers of the Sangathan from 18 districts of eastern UP, where the organisation has already started its work.
Sources inform that the organisation is targeting to set the entire network till the gram panchayat level in the next two months, post which it would start conducting workshops and sammelans to educate panchayat-level representatives about the need for decentralisation of power to strengthen panchayats.
Under the structure, co-ordinators would be formed at the district panchayat level and block level with volunteers approached for the gram panchayat level, too. The target is to include people who have either contested or were elected at the panchayat-level institutions in the past or are elected representatives at present. Congress hopes to identify leaders, especially young faces, who could emerge as panchayat leaders.
“After the formation of the structure is over, we would organise sammelans and workshops to educate people about the need for decentralisation of power and why participatory democracy makes sense.” Meenakshi said, adding that she would now be “a frequent visitor” to the state.
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“Purna Swaraj is an ongoing process and in a hierarchical and feudal society, it would take time. But we will continue with our campaign,” she said.
Until the structure has been created, Congress has advised existing volunteers to launch a “Kaam Mango Abhiyan” under the MGNREGA in drought-affected districts of the state.