New Delhi: At a time when Narendra Modi is becoming increasingly aggressive, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday asked party`s media managers "not to remain silent" and counter "with content" the Opposition propaganda.
He insisted that there should be "uniformity" in the response of party leaders on any issue from district Congress to the AICC level.
Addressing 32 media chiefs of the party from states and union territories, Gandhi also told them that a performance evaluation mechanism is there in the party now and hence those who have shown results will no longer be ignored.
Gandhi addressed the state media chiefs this evening at Jawahar Bhavan, where the party organised a day long workshop on social media, the first-of-its-kind to train spokespersons on Twitter, Facebook and other interactive internet sites.
Union Ministers Manish Tewari and Shashi Tharoor, AICC media department chief Ajay Maken and party MP Dipender Hooda addressed separate sessions for the partys` media strategists from across the country.
Gandhi did not address the session on social media and his interaction with the state media department chiefs was kept a close secret till the last.
During his interaction, Gandhi told the party leaders that they need not respond to the "lies and propaganda of the Opposition" in similar manner.
"The opposition propaganda can be countered even in a dignfied manner. Do not remain silent. Speak up and counter it strongly. You are the mouthpieces of the party.
"But for that you will have to up to date, when you go to participate in television debates. You have to back your arguments with content, Gandhi is learnt to have told them.
The Congress Vice President also told them while they should be debating freely and frankly any issue within the party fora, "there should be uniformity in your response when you go public and speak to television and media."
Gandhi said uniformity in the response of party leaders
from district Congress to the AICC level can be achieved if there is regular interaction among leaders.
"There should not be a communication gap. You are the messenger of the party when you speak outside," Gandhi is learnt to have emphasised.
He asked partymen not to lose sight of positive politics while "forcefully" presenting their point of view.
The Congress has been targeted by Modi with more aggression since he was appointed BJP`s poll campaign committee chief and sources in the party said that though Gandhi did not take the name of any Opposition leader during the meeting, he laid great emphasis on "not getting into indignified personal attacks while exposing the rivals`s false claims".
Gandhi said the work done by partymen are being properly evaluated now and hence those performing will not be ignored.
He told them that proper evaluation of performance is being and done it`s not that some four-five leaders will be deciding everything. "It is performance, which will matter," Gandhi said.
Addressing a session, Union Minister Tewari told the participants from the states about the dos and don`ts while appearing in a television debate.
An avid Twitterati, Tharoor`s session was on how to get maximum impact in disseminating the party`s view point on various issues through the community networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Technical experts were called to address the workshop, which recorded the presence of 300 participants, including five representatives from each state.
"Their (BJP) case is fit for those who want to use social media to spread half truths and canard... But social media can be used to spread truth. It is imperative for a political party to communicate its ideology and voice efficiently and strongly. This medium is very important in this age," Hooda said at the outset of the workshop.