Jan Jagran Abhiyan will highlight suffering due to Modi’s failed economic policies: K.C. Venugopal

We hope to jolt this government into action on rising prices, says Congress general secretary

The issues facing the Congress are no different from those facing other parties but face greater media scrutiny, says party General Secretary (Organisation) K.C. Venugopal

The Congress is running a 15-day campaign against price rise – Jan Jagran Abhiyan, that began on November 14. What exactly is the motivation behind this agitation?

The people of our country are suffering because of the policies of the Narendra Modi government. Our campaign is to highlight their concerns and hopefully jolt this government into action. The edible oil prices have doubled in the last one year. Prices of seasonal vegetables have gone up by 40-50% in the last one month alone. The cost of subsidised LPG cylinder has gone up by 50% to ₹900-1,000 in the last one year. Similarly, petrol and diesel prices have gone up by ₹34.38 and ₹24.38 to ₹103.97 and ₹86.67 per litre respectively in the last 18 months. Our leaders will conduct padyatras across the country and will go to each district. This will include night halts at villages and then prabhat pheris.

The Congress concentrated all its efforts on Pegasus in the last Parliament session ignoring price rise. Your comments.

That is not tru. Our leader Rahul Gandhi led a cycle rally to Parliament to highlight the spiralling fuel prices. Yes, we raised Pegasus, but at the same time we also spoke about inflation. The government however was not willing to let the house run or have any discussion. They want to pass all the bills in a hurry, without any credible debate.

The Congress President Sonia Gandhi had recently said that there is lack of clarity and cohesion even among state level leaders on important issues. How is the party addressing this?

As per her vision, we have already decided to have a permanent training programme in place. Even as part of our Jan Jagran Mission from 12-15 November we had training in Wardha, Maharashtra. I am just returning from there. By December we will have training modules in every State; by January this will be taken to the districts and by February we will have block level training modules which will also be attended by our booth presidents.

In the last few months, the internal tussle in Punjab, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan has kept the party in news. When will the Congress put the house in order?

I don’t think there is any infighting. In Rajasthan, all issues have been amicably resolved. In Punjab, Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi is doing a splendid job. In Chhattisgarh also there are no issues. It is unfortunate that the media attention which should be trained on the government, seeking accountability for them, is far more focused on the Congress. In Uttarakhand, three Chief Ministers were changed but the media largely sought to ignore it. We have a Governor of a State who has been openly criticising the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh, but again the media ignores it. This is not to deny our problems, but if you put in context, they are not any larger than what other parties, especially the BJP has.

So will we see a cabinet reshuffle in Rajasthan?

May be.

Will there be a change of guard in Chhattisgarh

I do not want to comment on it.

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