From social media campaigns to a convention for coming up with policies, the Delhi chapter of the All India Professionals’ Congress (AIPC) is trying to get professionals involved in its efforts to counter the Aam Aadmi Party and BJP governments.
Though the Delhi chapter of the AIPC is planning these activities in the coming months, they are expected to form the background of the Congress’ future political campaigns, including the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and the 2020 Delhi Assembly elections.
Started in October, the Delhi chapter of the AIPC, the Congress’ unit for professionals launched in August this year, has five chapters under it — East Delhi, North Delhi, South Delhi, West Delhi and Central Delhi.
“We have about 250 fellows at the moment. We will soon launch a massive outreach programme to enrol individuals from the service class, small traders, professionals like chartered accountants, doctors, teachers and lawyers so we can seek their advise to form our party manifesto and policies,” said Aman Panwar, president of Delhi Professionals Congress.
A social media campaign where each chapter in Delhi will target professionals in their area would be launched soon, said Mr. Panwar.
In February, a state-level convention would be held with four main issues discussed — unemployment, women’s security and empowerment, communications and IT and urban planning. The convention would be used to come up with draft white papers on these topics that would be submitted to senior Congress leaders.
These documents would form the basis of the party’s manifesto, said Mr. Panwar, adding that the aim was to crowdsource the policies.
“In the last three and a half years, the middle class that comprises mainly of professionals and entrepreneurs, has suffered due to the ill-conceived policies of the BJP and AAP governments. Our main task is to address the discontent among the middle class and involve them in shaping Delhi’s future,” he said.
While the leadership of the Congress and AIPC seemed certain about the organisation’s role in the future, at a recent meeting of the Delhi chapter, fellows discussed various forms they could take up. Some wanted to conduct local blanket drives, while others wanted to work on policies to improve Delhi’s air quality.
Is the Professionals’ Congress a think tank meant to help the INC form policies for if it comes to power, or to help win elections Shashi Tharoor, Congress MP and the chairperson of the AIPC, said, “It is all that you ask about and more: a think tank, which supplements the efforts of the research department of the INC, as well as a straight-up political outfit that brings the concerns of professionals to the Congress leadership and also carries the message of the party to the professional classes...”
Mr. Tharoor said the AIPC was in the process of expanding and that the next round of announcements would be soon.
When asked if the AIPC was created in reaction to the BJP or the AAP finding support with professionals, he said, “There is widespread disillusionment with the parties that have traditionally (or recently) won the broad allegiance of many middle-class educated people — repelled by the BJP’s bigotry and sectarianism, the Communists’ 19th-century ideology, and AAP’s cynicism, the educated middle-class is in a vacuum.”