Debating India

Satyagraha: Congress plans campaign

Monday 25 December 2006

Special Correspondent

Sonia likely to address a meeting at Porbandar in March

NEW DELHI: Starting with Champaran, Bihar on Thursday, the Congress will hold public meetings in different parts of the country to mark the centenary year of the satyagraha launched by Mahatma Gandhi.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi is likely to address a public meeting at Porbandar in Gujarat during March next year. Over the next six months, the Congress will hold such meetings across 10 States, a majority of them where the party is in the Opposition.

The effort will be to combine the message of satyagraha with the current political situation in States like Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Kerala. As of now only Maharashtra is among the States identified to hold such a public meeting where the Congress is leading a coalition government.

Party general secretary Digvijay Singh, who has been asked to coordinate the activities, told The Hindu that Champaran was selected as the first venue, for it was here that Mahatma Gandhi after coming from South Africa, took up the cause of the indigo cultivators.

Senior party leaders, including Mr. Digvijay Singh, Union Minister Shakeel Ahmed and Parvez Hashmi would be attending the Champaran rally.

Mr. Singh said that at every venue Sir Richard Attenborough’s `Gandhi’ film would be shown on the eve of the meeting and followed by a ballet on the day of the event. The programmes include a bicycle rally in Gujarat, an international seminar on satyagraha next month, and other events, including clean environment programme.

Mr. Singh said the second public meeting would be held at Balasore, Orissa on January 18 and the dates for the rest of the venues were being worked out.

See online : The Hindu

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