Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will soon embark on a nationwide political parade in a bid to reconnect with the masses, highlighting the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government's "failures" on the economic front and keep up the attack on the BJP on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, or CAA, and the National Register of Citizens (NRC), a party leader familiar with the development said.
The leader quoted above said this was decided at the last meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC), the party's highest decision-making body, on January 11.
The leader further added that, during his parade, Gandhi, 49, will also raise the issues confronting farmers, tribals, rural workers, small and medium traders, industrialists and professionals.
He said that this was being done following an assessment that as a political party the Congress faces a tough challenge of sustaining the protests over the CAA and the NRC and hence feels the need for bringing the narrative back on economic slowdown and other issues confronting the common people.
"CAA and NRC are there but we need to highlight the issues concerning the youth, farmers, traders and professionals and expose the anti-people BJP government," the leader added.
But before that, the former Congress president will hold a Yuva Aakroshrally and interact with the young people and students across the country on economic issues, including the rising unemployment.
This programme will kick off with an interactive session on January 28 at Jaipur where he is expected to talk about the job crisis faced by the youth because of the prevailing economic situation in the country.
"The rally is being organised to highlight the issues that are affecting the youth most, which are unemployment, joblessness and an environment where the youth is facing redundancies," Rajasthan chief minister, Ashok Gehlot, told reporters in Jaipur.
"He will highlight the real issues, the slowdown of the economy, deepening job crisis, rising inflation, devaluation of rupee and high fuel prices. The central government has failed in handling these and they raise subjects like CAA and NRC just to divert attention from their failures," he added.
Gehlot further said, "Rahul ji is the voice of today's youth. He is coming for young people as they are angry due to the problems they are facing. The Central government is not listening to their woes instead their voices are stifled."
Gandhi will then hold similar interactions in Congress-ruled and other states as well.
On January 30, he will lead an anti- CAA rally at Kalpetta in his Lok Sabha constituency Waynad in Kerala.
Coinciding with Gandhi's programmes, the Youth Congress is also set to launch a nationwide campaign to highlight the growing unemployment crisis in the country by demanding a "National Register of Unemployed (NRU)".
"To address the menacing problem of unemployment in India and to give a voice to the plight of young Indians, the Youth Congress has started a campaign to demand an NRU. The demand is in response to the deplorable state of unemployment in India, which has reached at its highest level in 45 years," Youth Congress president, Srinivas BV, said.
Starting from January 23, he said "any and every unemployed" Indian could support the demand for an NRU by giving a missed call on a toll-free number.
Reacting to the reports of Rahul's rally, Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Gopal Agarwal said, "If Rahul Gandhi wants to discuss economy he is welcome, but first he should answer about UPA failure on every front. Corruption, inflation, NPA, FDI, FTA etc and take responsibility. Business ecosystem requires a transparent, corruption-free, equal opportunity environment, which our government is putting in place. Our far-reaching economic reforms like GST, IBC, Benani properties act and 103 lakh crore national Infrastructure pipeline will surely take INDIA to 5 trillion dollar economy, which is inclusive development (antyodaya) for all."
Gandhi had resigned as the Congress president on May 25 after the party's Lok Sabha electoral rout and after much persuasion at the CWC meeting on August 10 last year, his mother, Sonia Gandhi agreed to assume the reins of the grand old party less than two years after she gave up the top organisational post.