New Delhi: Congress today held consultations with representatives from various minority communities, including Muslims, as part of its exercise to include demands and aspirations of sections of people in its 2014 election manifesto.
Party Vice President Rahul Gandhi and Minority Affairs Minister K Rahman Khan, among the senior leaders, are holding direct interactions with the communities to incorporate their views and suggestions in the party`s manifesto for the next Lok Sabha polls.
The exercise comes in line with Gandhi`s call for "opening the doors and windows of politics" for common man in formulating policies and programmes of the government as the party sought to reach out to the people directly in the manifesto-making exercise by launching a website to seek direct feedback from the public.
As a prelude, Gandhi had held a meeting with representatives of Dalits, tribal and OBCs on December 13 to discuss the social, political and economic challenges before the communities and formulate programmes to address them.
Addressing the meeting of Dalits, tribals and OBCs, Gandhi had said that politics was so far being done from behind the closed doors and windows and the political process was restricted to some 500-odd people.
"It is a narrow elite, which constitutes the political establishment and each party is run by a narrower group," he had said, promising to open the system.
The consultation process called "Your Voice Our Pledge" has been started witha view to help shape the pan-India agenda of the manifesto.
Addressing the media after that meeting, Union Minister Jairam Ramesh had said that the manifesto will be ready by the first week of February and it will be open for public discussion for the next one-and-a-half months thereafter.
Five such consultations are being organised by the party with various sections including SC/ST/OBC, minorities, women and youth.