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400 Cong leaders to discuss ways to revive party at Udaipur Chintan Shivir

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Senjo M R
April 19, 2022 23:36 IST
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Around 400 senior Congress leaders from across the country will meet next month in Rajasthan's Udaipur at the three-day brainstorming session to evolve the party's strategy for its overhaul and revival in the wake of a series of electoral defeats.

Sources in the party said the Chintan Shivir will be held from May 13 to 15 at a resort, where the leaders will deliberate on what lacks the party and what needs to be done to revive its electoral fortunes.

 

The Congress has suffered repeated defeats in assembly and general elections in the past few years and the leaders are suggesting the party's overhaul to revive it at the grassroots level.

The Congress Working Committee, the party's top-decision making body, would soon meet to deliberate further on the Chintan Shivir plans, the sources said.

Arrangements are being made at a resort in Udaipur for the holding of this brainstorming session and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and AICC general secretary in-charge of Rajasthan Ajay Maken have already visited the location of the session, the sources added.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi had during the last CWC meeting suggested the holding of a session to enable all senior party leaders to deliberate on the issues before the party and hold a free and frank discussion on the steps required to be taken to strengthen the organisation.

The session has been necessitated after the party's drubbing in the recent assembly elections in five states and a section of the party calling for major reforms and overhauling of the organisation in order to strengthen it.

The Congress leadership is already working on several steps, including a long-term strategy suggested by poll strategist Prashant Kishor, who is also likely to join the party.

Kishor is currently holding a series of meetings with senior party leaders at the residence of the Congress chief on the measures suggested by him.

The Congress 'Group of 23' (G-23) leaders, who have been critical of the party leadership, have also called for organisational overhaul to help revive the party at the grassroots level and address fresh challenges.

During the brainstorming session, the party is expected to chalk out a strategy for course correction to reverse the trend of electoral defeats. The party is currently in power on its own only in the two states of Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh and is part of the ruling coalition in Maharashtra and Jharkhand.

The Congress leadership has desired that every party leader should openly discuss the shortcomings and suggest corrective measures to make it fighting fit electorally in the next poll season, the party sources said.

The party is already fighting internal challenges posed by leaders of the G-23, and the Congress chief has asked them to air their grievances for resolution at a party platform like the upcoming brainstorming session.

The Congress president's aim is to bring about unity at all levels of the party, which she has stressed several times in her dialogue with leaders, in order to see a strong organisation to take on the might of the BJP, the sources said.

The continuous tussle between the old guard and the younger generation has also taken a toll and the issue is likely to be discussed again, they said.

The party is also taking steps to address fresh challenges posed in view of the victory of the Aam Aadmi Party in Punjab, after which the Arvind Kejriwal's party is seeking to spread its wings in other parts of the country and is seen as vying to dislodge the Congress as the principal rival to the BJP.

The Congress is already gearing up for assembly elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh to be held later this year, besides other state polls and the Lok Sabha elections in 2024.

While reposing full faith in her leadership, the CWC has urged Sonia Gandhi to effect immediate corrective changes to strengthen the party and meet the political challenges ahead of the next round of elections.

The CWC had said that the recent results in assembly elections are a "cause of serious concern" for the party, as the party failed to effectively "expose the misrule" of BJP governments in four states of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur, due to shortcomings in its strategy.

With organisational elections underway and the new president has to be elected by August this year, there is already growing clamour within the party for Rahul Gandhi to take over the party leadership once again.

Gandhi had quit as Congress chief taking full moral responsibility after the party's defeat in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, after which Sonia Gandhi has run the party as interim president.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Senjo M R© Copyright 2022 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
 
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