Congress for Deeper Connections with Religious, Caste and Social Groups | India News

NEW DELHI: Congress is likely to seek greater interaction with “religious, social and cultural groups” to deepen its contact with institutions that command the loyalty of key population blocs. It will probably feature in the resolution on the organizational revival of the Chintan Shivir.
Sources said during a discussion of political affairs in Chintan Shivir, a heated discussion ensued over a suggestion made by a leader that the party should seek to surround itself with bodies that represent key sections of society, and could provide a better way to connect religious, caste and social groups. Some members, like Karnataka lawmaker BK Hari Prasad, opposed it, fearing it would make the Congress look like the BJP which woos people on the basis of religion. But members like Acharya Pramod and Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel have backed the proposal, arguing Congress outreach can be “inclusive” where its contacts will be across castes and religious divides, and not will not imitate the strategy of the BJP which focuses on one religion. Sources said lead counsel Abhishek Singhvi stepped in the impasse and forged a rapprochement.
Sources said there was also a vigorous debate over “soft Hindutva”. One leader argued that the party should not be defensive on the issue of polarization and should call on the BJP for a divisive policy. However, some members felt that the party should be wary of overt aggression. It is learned that Baghel argued that while the Congress is rightly targeting communalism, it should go ahead with cultural awareness of Hindus, as the Congress is pursuing in Chhattisgarh through various initiatives on religious tourism, protection of cows and the purchase of cow dung. It is learned that he pointed out that Madhya Pradesh leader Kamal Nath is also following the policy with good results as he has managed to contain the BJP.