18-Aug-2017
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Congress sets up professionals group under Sashi Tharoor

New Delhi, Aug 2: Former Union Minister Shashi Tharoor was on Tuesday appointed the chairman of a new department under the AICC – All India Professionals Congress (AIPC), an arm that would engage “tax-paying professionals” in party activities.
 
Experts from various fields ranging from management to technology will be drafted into the “Professional Congress” described by Tharoor as a “political Rotary Club.” The “fellowship” of the new wing of the AICC will have a nominal fee tag of Rs 1,000 per year.
 
The move came after the Congress discovered that professionals were veering towards the BJP and the Aam Aadmi Party but were getting “disillusioned” at the “bigotry” of the former and the “cynicism” of the latter.
 
“Very often there are bright minds, they have political ideas but they have no idea how to connect with the political process,” Tharoor said adding that the Professionals' Congress would be the bridge for such individuals.
 
The AIPC would give a platform to such professionals to interact daily using social media, engage in weekly meetings to discuss issues that matter to them and even monitor government programmes such as 'Swachh Bharat' in their localities.
 
Tharoor, the national chairman of the AIPC, will be assisted by four zonal coordinators – Milind Deora (West Zone), Geeta Reddy (South), Gaurav Gogoi (East) and Salman Anees Soz (North). Deora, also a former union minister will be the Deputy Chairman of the AIPC.
 
The AIPC will have chapters across cities and members will have to sign up after providing a functional email id, mobile number, PAN card and the year of last filed income tax returns.
 
“It is not going to be just an easy ride just sign up like the BJP's missed calls, we are not looking for fake Members, we are looking up for people who are serious about working to be involved,” Tharoor said.
 
Congress President Sonia Gandhi also appointed social entrepreneur Arbind Singh as the Chairman of the All India Unorganised Workers Congress with Irfan Alam as the vice-chairman.
 
While Singh has been associated with the National Association of Street Vendors of India – an organisation working for the upliftment of street vendors across the country, Alam has been working to protect the interests of rickshaw pullers through his NGO – Samman Foundation.