Our Bureau | New Delhi, May 9 |
Party president Sonia Gandhi calls for ‘selfless work, discipline and a sense of consistent collective purpose’ to revive Congress
The Congress Working Committee (CWC) has finalised the draft points for discussion at the three-day Chintan Shivir (brainstorming session) to be held in Udaipur from Friday. Conveners of the six coordination groups on political issues, economy, agriculture, social issues, organisation, and youth and empowerment briefed the CWC on the reports they prepared after discussions in the last few days. About 400 delegates will discuss these reports during the session.
Talking to reporters after the meeting, senior Congress leaders Randeep Singh Surjewala and Jairam Ramesh said that Mallikarjun Kharge briefed the CWC on political issues, P. Chidambaram on economy, Hooda on agriculture, issues of farmers and agriculture workers, Salman Khurshid – social issues, Mukul Wasnik on restructuring the organisation and Punjab PCC president Amrinder Singh Raja on youth and empowerment. Each group had nine members.
To strengthen the Congress
Ramesh said the Shivir is being held not to draft a manifesto, but to prepare an action plan to revive and strengthen the Congress so that it can deal with the present-day political and organisational challenges. He said the Shivir will draft a plan for the organisation. “This is a political, action-oriented Chintan Shivir,” he said, adding that the Shivir will debate the politics and issues that the country is dealing with. Congress president Sonia Gandhi will inaugurate the session and Rahul Gandhi will make valedictory remarks. The party will release the action plan after the session. The Congress had held similar sessions in 1998, 2003 and 2013.
Ramesh said the meeting is being held in the midst of a grave economic crisis. “Rupee has become a member of marg darshak mandal of the BJP,” he said; he added that issues such as unemployment, Centre-State relations, polarisation around religion and language will also be discussed in the context of an action plan.
‘No magic wand to revive party’
Earlier, addressing the CWC members, Sonia Gandhi said there are no magic wand for the revival of the Congress. “It is only with selfless work, discipline and a sense of consistent collective purpose that we will demonstrate our tenacity and resilience. The party has been central to the life of each and every one of us. It has expected our total allegiance and has been good to each and every one of us. Now, when we are at a crucial juncture, it is imperative that we step forward and repay our debt to the party in full measure,” she said.
She called for self-criticism in party’s forums. “But this should not be done in a manner that erodes self-confidence and morale, and an atmosphere of gloom and doom prevails. To the contrary, we are beholden to put our heads together, and together, collectively overcome the challenges that face us. This requires that the Chintan Shivir does not become a ritual, something we must just get through. I am determined that it should herald a restructured organisation to meet the many ideological, electoral and managerial tasks we confront,” she added.