The Congress will soon shift to its new headquarters at Kotla Road here with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and party chief Sonia Gandhi laying the foundation stone of the Indira Gandhi Bhavan on Monday.
The function being held on the Foundation Day of the party marks the beginning of year-long celebrations to commemorate 125 years of the party’s formation.
Since the Congress split in 1978, AICC headquarters was at 24, Akbar Road. Now, it will be shifted to the new office on Kotla Road in Central Delhi.
The celebrations based on the theme “past foundation and future vision” will also apprise people of the country, particularly the younger generation, of the party’s history and legacy.
Plans are also afoot to hold four regional conferences as part of the celebrations. Though venues are yet to be decided, they are expected to be held across the country - north, west, south, east and northeast.
Moreover, achievement of the party at every level - social, economic, cultural and international - since independence will be projected through various media.
Party sources said that Congress is looking to synergise “the legacy of late prime minister Indira Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi’s vision for the future” with this campaign.
A series of programmes are being organised to “galvanise the cadre and rekindle and re-link the spirit of the Congress,” they said.
Congress has drawn up a list of 32 personalities whose services to the nation will be showcased prominently during the celebrations.
They included the founders of the Congress like W C Banerjee and other leaders like Lokmanya Tilak, Lala Lajpat Rai, Birsa Munda, Mahatma Gandhi, Hakim Ajmal Khan, Sardar Bhagat Singh, Chandrashekhar Azad, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel, Subhash Chandra Bose, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi among others.
The party will also remember events and places associated with the freedom struggle like the Jalianwala Bagh, Champaran movement of Gandhiji, Chauri Chaura, Swaraj Bhavan, Dandi March, Cellular Jail of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Quit India Movement and others.
Programmes have been circulated to the party units at the block, district and state levels.
The AICC has formed a 19-member committee under the chairmanship of party president Sonia Gandhi for the year-long celebrations. Senior party leader and Defence Minister A K Antony is the vice-chairman of the committee.
Other leaders in the committee include Rahul Gandhi, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and Union Ministers Ambika Soni, Mukul Wasnik, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Murli Deora, Anand Sharma and Jairam Ramesh.
Built on a two-acre plot, Indira Bhavan will have six stories, besides underground parking facilities, a library, an auditorium and conference rooms with high-tech teleconferencing facilities. Close-circuit television cameras will also be in place.
The shifting the Congress office from 24, Akbar Road comes in the wake of a Supreme Court directive that all political parties have to move out of the Lutyen’s Delhi.
After the court’s orders, the government allocated plots to different parties with the size of the plots being determined by the number of MPs.
The plot alloted to the party was on Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Marg but the Congress later felt that having its headquarters at the street named after the Jan Sangh ideologue would embarrass it.
So it decided that the entrance of the party headquarters will be located on the Kotla Road side.