The 10-member committee also urges government to focus on filling nominated posts with immediate effect

The 10-member Ministerial committee constituted to study the reasons behind the Congress’ debacle in the recent by-elections and suggest remedial measures has recommended that the party and the government take steps to conduct elections to Panchayat Raj bodies at the earliest.

The panel wanted the government to focus on filling nominated posts with immediate effect as it would go a long way in removing the “indifferent attitude” towards party affairs that gripped the party leaders and cadre alike. Members of the committee who discussed several issues facing the party during a four-hour meeting on Sunday recommended that the Congress State leadership focus on a thorough revamp of the party organisation at village, mandal and district levels.

To submit report

The meeting decided to incorporate the views of MPs, MLAs, MLCs and other senior leaders on the state of affairs and take remedial measures to rectify the lapses before submitting its report to Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy and AP Congress Committee president Botcha Satyanarayana on July 21.

Accordingly, the committee had convened a meeting of the party MPs on July 17 and MLAs/MLCs the next day.

“We will fine tune recommendations made by party leaders and sympathisers on July 19 and submit the findings on July 21,” Social Welfare Minister Pithani Satyanarayana, who hosted the meeting told reporters later.

The Minister said the committee would submit its preliminary report, not interim report, on July 21 and it could be followed by several others prepared on the basis of the observations made at grassroots level.

Erosion of vote bank

Sources, however, said the panel was concerned about the significant erosion in the traditional SC/ST and Minority vote bank of the party and the failure to convince the people that the ongoing welfare schemes were “Congress schemes” and not initiated by any individual (late YSR).

Modifications

Some Ministers were understood to have suggested modifications in the existing welfare programmes to do away with the belief that they were contemplated and conceptualised by late YSR.

“The issue of change in the nomenclature of some flagship schemes has come up,” Mr. Satyanarayana revealed. Accordingly, it was decided to take the feedback of the party functionaries at different levels on further strengthening the schemes to ensure that they reflected the Congress’ commitment to the poor.

The Minister said the committee members as well as other Ministers who participated in the deliberations unanimously favoured conduct of elections to panchayat raj bodies and it was suggested that the government take steps to resolve issues like BC reservations that posed legal hurdles for early conduct of the polls.