Aam aadmi,the catch phrase of the Congress manifesto in 2004 is set to lose prominence in the ruling partys priority list for the next five years with the party deciding to go for a new catch phrase in the manifesto for the 2009 general elections. The AICC Publicity Committee will soon decide the substitute for the Congress ka haath,aam aadmi ke saath slogan.
In the 2009 manifesto,party president Sonia Gandhi is likely to make an appeal to countrymen to vote for the party while listing out the UPA Governments achievements and the partys priority areas for the next five years. This came out in the draft manifesto finalised on Saturday by the Central Election Manifesto Committee,headed by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee. Committee sources said aam aadmi,which had figured right on the cover of the partys manifesto in the last general election,was difficult to trace in the 100-page document for 2009. There have been frequent references to aam aadmi in the speeches of party leaders and ministers and in party and government documents all through the UPA regime.
According to Mukherjee,the draft manifesto will now be sent for approval of the party chief,following which it will be discussed by the Congress Working Committee. Manifesto Committee sources said the plan to include the Congress presidents appeal is not final because the draft could still go through several changes.
There are two parts of the draft manifesto,including the Congress presidents appeal and the partys agenda for the next five years in different sectors. Sources said the draft manifesto is unlikely to have any big-ticket programmes like those in the 2004 manifesto. Mani Shankar Aiyar,a member of the committee,had earlier written to all the ministries seeking details of their achievements so that they can be incorporated in the document.
According to AICC media cell chairman Veerappa Moily,there would also be a lot of thrust on youth as 60 crore people in India are below the age of 25. We have big plans for the youth. There is lots of emphasis on youth, he said.
Asked about aam aadmis place in the manifesto,he said,How can you move forward without aam aadmi? But things have changed since 2004. There are different pockets of aam aadmi rural and urban. We will go for micro management of aam aadmi.