Congress goes for image makeover; to celebrate all religious festivals

Published - August 14, 2014 07:53 am IST - NEW DELHI:

In an apparent “image makeover” exercise, the Congress has decided to celebrate festivals like Janmashtmi and Ramnavmi besides holding functions to mark anniversaries of social reformers at its Pradesh Committee offices, sources said.

Till today, the only religious function the Congress hosted at its party offices were Iftar parties during Ramzan, apart from celebrating anniversaries of members belonging to the Nehru-Gandhi family.

However, sources said, the party has now decided to celebrate festivals of all other religions. Leaders in the know of the development said “it is part of the strategy to restructure the culture, policy and intent of the party after the recent poll debacle”.

“The party will now be holding official functions in the State unit office to celebrate all festivals like Janmashtmi, Ramnavmi, Christmas, Guru Purab etc. The party has also decided to celebrate Valmiki Jayanti and Ravidas Jayanti at the party office,” a senior party leader said.

The Delhi Congress unit plans to hold a special function at Rajiv Bhavan on August 17 to celebrate Krishna Janmashtmi. Confirming the development, Delhi Congress spokesperson Mukesh Sharma said “all office-bearers and elected representatives irrespective of their religion will participate in the celebrations”.

“We are a secular party. Krishna Janmashtmi will be celebrated in the party office. Apart from senior party leaders, elected representatives from across religions will participate in it,” he said.

The decision comes close on the heels of senior party leaders A.K. Antony reportedly stating at a function last month that his party’s apparent proximity to minority communities had led people to doubt its secularism.

Mr. Antony also headed a three-panel fact-finding committee on the recent drubbing in the Lok Sabha elections.

The report was submitted to the party president last month.

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