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Sonia's retirement plans and the Congress' 'chinta'

Last updated on: January 17, 2013 15:59 IST

Chintan Shivir or Chinta Shivir?

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The Congress' backfiring brainstorming sessions

Sonia Gandhi's retirement date

Ajit Jogi robotic legs and new ambitions

All this and more in this week's Dilli Gupshup.

The Congress' Jaipur 'Chintan Shivir' is set to become 'chinta shivir' of sorts. Pakistan and the rise in crimes against women weigh heavily on the mind of 300 chosen delegates.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi and general secretary Rahul Gandhi plan to speak tough against Pakistan while on women's issue, the party has coined a slogan, "pahle hoga nari samman, phir hoga bharat nirman."

The slogan is reportedly been coined by Union rural development minister Jairam Ramesh, who has drafted a specific women-centric paper.

Click next for why the Congress is wary of brainstorming sessions



Image: Congress President Sonia Gandhi with son and party general secretary Rahul


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Brainstorming backfire

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Skeptics in the Congress do not think much of the 'Chintan Shivir' pointing that the first brainstorming session at Narora, Uttar Pradesh in 1974 had badly backfired.

Indira Gandhi had gathered party loyalists to take on Jayaprakash Narain and Morarji Desai but year and a half later, she was forced to impose the Emergency.

In 1998, Sonia Gandhi summoned another brainstorming session at Pachmarhi, Madhya Pradesh and the party fared badly in 1999 general elections.

However, Shimla 2003 conclave proved to be lucky paving the way for a Congress-led coalition.

Click next for why austerity is the party's byword


Image: A supporter of the Congress Party holds onto a party flag
Photographs: Reuters

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When austerity rules

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Over 200 palm trees have been planted at Chintan Shivir site.

Organisers Ambika Soni, Mukul Wasnik and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot wanted to give a 'regal' look to the venue in keeping with Rajasthani aristocratic traditions but Sonia Gandhi reportedly overruled them.

AICC general secretary Janardhan Dwivedi communicated to Soni that the party chief wants everything simple, austere and modest.

Click next for Sonia's retirement date


Image: Ambica Soni, Mukul Wasnik and Ashok Gehlot
Photographs: Reuters

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Sonia's retirement

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Away from public glare, Sonia Gandhi said to be contemplating retirement from active politics. In her scheme of things, Sonia who turned 66 on December 9, 2012, wants to call it a day at the age of 70.

There is no immediate panic in Congress circles as 2016 is seen bit far. However, old-timers are not comfortable pointing that Sonia would be setting a 'wrong precedend'.

At another level, Congressmen are confident that Priyanka Gandhi would represent mother from the Rai Bareilly Lok Sabha seat.

Click next for find out Ajit Jogi's ambitions



 


Image: Congress President Sonia Gandhi


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Jogi's robotic legs

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Former Chhattisgarh chief minister Ajit Jogi is keen to lead the Congress in 2013 year-end assembly polls in the state. Jogi, who has been wheel-chair-bound since a terrible road accident in 2004, hopes to stand on his feet with the help of robotic legs.

The legs, manufactured by a New Zealand based firm, are on way along with a team of experts. A former IAS officer-turned politician, Jogi succeeded in getting Rs 22 lakh import duty exemption on his robotic legs from the United Progressive Alliance government.


Image: Former Chhattisgarh chief minister Ajit Jogi
Photographs: Courtesy: http://womenhijjab.blogspot.in/

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