Breaking away from tradition, several young Congress leaders are expected to speak at the AICC Chintan Shivir being held in Jaipur, reports Renu Mittal
The All India Congress Committee will meet on Friday for a three-day brain storming session in Jaipur.
The pink city and Rajasthan capital is decked up with Congress flags and huge hoardings welcoming Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and General Secretary Rahul Gandhi. Huge billboards with a picture of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot announce the government's achievements.
A galaxy of Congress leaders have arrived in the state capital as all roads lead to the Birla auditorium where work was in full swing on Thursday night as the media centre, cafeteria, special rooms for Sonia Gandhi and the prime minister were being readied.
Security has been tightened at the Chintan Shivir venue where the SPG and other security agencies have taken over from the state police.
While the prime minister is staying at Raj Bhawan as a guest of the governor, Margaret Alva, Sonia and Rahul Gandhi are staying at the exclusive Raj Mahal Palace hotel.
AICC General Secretary Digvijaya Singh set the tone and tenor of the meeting on Friday morning when he said that the Congress must make way for generation next. Rahul Gandhi's agenda of bringing the youth in the forefront is obviously being articulated by Digvijaya Singh who is known to be close to Rahul Gandhi.
in an exclusive interview with Rediff.com's Sheela Bhatt, Sonia Gandhi's political secretary Ahmed Patel had expressed optimism in Rahul Gandhi becoming prime minister. "Yes, I am optimistic. It will depend on Rahul Gandhi. He will decide after the election. He has to decide what he wants. I am confident that we will get the majority in 2014 and Rahul Gandhi must become prime minister of India. It is in the interest of the country." Patel had said.
When the AICC had met the last time for a chintan shivir in 2003 at Shimla, one delegate from the Youth Congress and another from the National Students' Union of India had addressed the congregation. However, many young leaders are expected to speak and take on senior leaders of the party in what is being seen as a deliberate attempt to ensure that the old makes way for the new. There is also a demand to give 30 per cent seats to the youth in the coming Lok Sabha elections.
The session which opens at 2 pm is likely to see Sonia Gandhi make a pitch for the youth in her opening statement.