Congress workers want Rahul Gandhi to play a "pre-dominant" role in the party but the young leader should not be pressurised, Digvijay Singh said on Friday.
"The sentiment of Congress worker is that he plays a larger and predominant role in the Congress party," the senior leader told PTI, virtually setting the tone for the three-day conclave.
His remarks come ahead of the Chintan Shivir beginning this afternoon and the AICC meet that will follow on Sunday to determine the future course of action for Congress as it prepares for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Singh, who has worked closely with Gandhi as AICC general secretary of Uttar Pradesh, however, caveated his response by saying "Please allow Rahul to do his own thing. Let him define his role. Why to pressurise him.Instead of anyone pushing him, let he himself decide his own role and how he wants to do it.
Singh said Rahul has already accepted the responsibility of organising 2014 general elections, which he is doing along with looking after the Youth Congress and the NSUI.
Asked as to how the scenario at the Jaipur Chintan Shivir is different from that of the Panchmarhi conclave in 1998 and the 2003 conclave at Shimla, he noted that the demographic profile of the nation has already undergone a change.
"Earlier more attention was on rural areas --- but now we cannot ignore the increase in the urban areas and increase in the urban vote and increase in the middle class," he said.
Singh, who is heading the subgroup on socio-economic challenges for preparing a paper for the Chintan Shivir, said the country has now got a younger profile.
He said the objective of the Congress exercise here is to "shortlist the issues, find solutions and set targets."
Asked who were the new allies and friends of the party ahead of the next elections, he sidestepped questions saying a sub-committee headed by senior leader A K Antony is going into these issues.