New Delhi, June 11: The Congress Seva Dal would be organising flag hoisting events in 1,000 cities of the country on the last Sunday of every month, once it gets the go-ahead from party president Rahul Gandhi. The decision is being seen as the outfit’s attempt to take a leaf out of the RSS book and use nationalism as a plank. During the programme, the Seva Dal will initiate discussions on the principles of Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru and on nationalism based on secularism, tolerance and pluralism, a senior Seva Dal leader said. The Seva Dal would also be organising training camps, the first of which is to begin in Manipur today. (Also read: RSS Could Pitch Pranab Mukherjee as PM Candidate, Says Sena)

The Seva Dal, which was reduced to an event organising unit of the Congress, is planning an overhaul of the organisation for which the blueprint has also been prepared. The blueprint is likely to be made public today in the presence of Gandhi.  Seva Dal Chief Organiser Lalji Bhai Desai told PTI, “In the last few years, the Seva Dal was not as active as it was earlier and got restricted to managing Congress’ events. We are trying to again strengthen the organisation.” However, when asked if this exercise was aimed at countering the RSS, he said, “RSS is only good at publicity. That is why they get more attention despite doing nothing. We are not competing with them. Our objectives are different. While they are more into spreading rumours, our aim is to bust such rumours and spread truth.”

We will now emphasise on nation-building, service to the country, developing the Seva Dal and working with better coordination with the party,” he said. In the next three months, training camps will be organised across the country. In the Manipur camp, Seva Dal volunteers and office-bearers from the eastern part of the country will take part, Desai said. He said the Seva Dal will organise ‘Dhwaj Vandana’ programme in 1,000 districts and cities of the state on the last Sunday of every month.  “We will try to hold discussions on nationalism which is based on secularism, tolerance and pluralism,” he said. Desai said there were Seva Dal units in 700 districts and cities of the country with 20 to 200 volunteers in each. The Seva Dal is also mulling over starting a youth wing.