State Cong bans gold chains, designer watches
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Heeding the austerity call of national president Sonia Gandhi, state Congress has decided to curb spend on organisational functions and change lifestyle of workers.
Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) president Manikrao Thakre said Monday, "To begin with, I will make it clear leaders and workers should stop flaunting thick golden chains and bracelets. The trend to show off expensive designer watches has to end."
Thakre has pledged to make Maharashtra the first state to implement organisational reforms as recommended by newly appointed vice-president Rahul Gandhi and Sonia.
He said, "Congress has always advocated simplicity. All its great leaders have always set an example by adhering to the basic principle of simple living. We have to put a ceiling on expenses on party functions."
Congress leaders are known to wear white khadi, a symbol of simplicity. But over the years, district leaders have started copying counterparts in other parties such as Shiv Sena who wear thick gold chains and bracelets.
State Congress has constituted a committee to set guidelines and monitor their implementation.
A party leader said, "The trend of lavish weddings often sends a wrong message to people. We will take steps to ensure marriages and organisational functions do not make a vulgar display of wealth."
A couple of years ago, Sonia had urged party leaders to fly economy. Congress chief ministers, members of parliament and state ministers did so, but only for a few months.
Thakre said, "My appeal to party workers is to show results through work. I have always said the objective of Congress workers and leaders should be to strengthen the organisation. The rest does not matter."
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