New Delhi: Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi on Thursday chaired a meeting of senior party leaders at the party headquarters in Delhi to finalise the preparations of 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

This is Sonia Gandhi’s first meeting as the interim president of the Congress party. The meeting was called to discuss Membership and Training Program, revealed top sources. Notably, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra along with almost 90 top leaders of the party were present to discuss India’s ongoing economic slowdown at the meeting.

Invitations were sent to Congress general secretaries, in-charges of the States, Congress Legislative Party leaders and Pradesh Congress Committee presidents of all the states to be present at the meeting on September 12.The Congress is focusing on a membership drive and to make it successful each state unit has been given targets.

The meeting also included a training programme in which the party has decided to appoint ‘Preraks’ or ‘motivators’ at the district level across the country to scale-up its mass contact programme. Congress state units have been asked to identify leaders from the party who will be given training for several days. These Preraks will work on the party agenda and look after party work similarly like Pracharaks in the RSS. This is a first of its kind of appointment within the Congress cadre.

The party now wants to emphasize on the training program of the party cadre to counter government agenda and also to take on the policy of the party to the grass-root level following a series of electoral setbacks.

The party will discuss a strategy to target the government over the economy and employment situation. Congress General Secretary Organisation has called a meeting of AICC secretaries on Friday evening to discuss it.

(With agency inputs)