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For elections, Congress trains and tests new spin doctors

New Delhi Ahead of the crucial assembly polls in Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, the Congress party wants to infuse new energy into their spokespersons.

Elections in these states are due by November; the general elections before May 2014.

The party has shortlisted a group of 45 members, mostly under the age of 35 years, who would be trained and evaluated on their ability to articulate the party's viewpoint in the media.

The group will debate issues such as the UPA's performance and achievements, inflation, state of the economy and the growing social polarization among others. And all the participants will go through mock TV panel discussions, give soundbites, use social media platforms among others.

"Right now, we have 32 people who are identified in the list of panels. But many feel there is a need to change some of them," says a senior Congress leader, who didn't wish to be identified.

With the elevation of Jayanti Natarajan and Manish Tewari as ministers, the Congress has lost some of their more effective spokespersons.

More than before, the Congress party needs articulate spokespersons now to put their point of view. So, the party is trying out new faces. P Shafi, a newly-elected legislator from Kerala, Himanshu Vyas, spokesperson from Gujarat, former NSUI leader from Delhi, Amrita Dhawan, and Shehzad Poonawala are some of those who would attend the five-day workshop in Delhi.

"From this list, there would be some more shortlisting depending on how they perform. These people will represent the party at various media fora,"says a senior leader.
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