Chintan Shivir: Congress may call for aligning of anti-BJP forces

Chintan Shivir: Congress may call for aligning of anti-BJP forces

India News

The Congress can revive the Parliamentary Board mechanism to make the decision-making process collective, give a call for alignment to political parties to challenge the BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, and take a strong stand against the politics of hatred at the party’s three-day Chintan Shivir in Udaipur later this week.

Ideas like setting up a separate wing to manage elections and a cooling-off period for district and state Congress committee presidents will also be on the table.

Ahead of the brain-storming session beginning May 13, the Congress Working Committee met on Monday and party president Sonia Gandhi delivered a strong message. She said there are “no magic wands” for the party’s revival and told the members that the party has been “good to each and every one of us” and “it is imperative that we step forward and repay our debt to the party in full measure” at this crucial juncture.

In an apparent reference to voices of dissent within the party, Sonia told the leaders that “self-criticism is needed” but argued “this should not be done in a manner that erodes self-confidence and morale”.

She said the Shivir should not become a mere “ritual”, arguing it “should herald a restructured organisation to meet the many ideological, electoral and managerial tasks we confront”. The CWC heard the initial conclusions of the committees that Sonia had set up to draft resolutions on six themes — political, economic, social justice, farmers, youth and organisational issues.

Sources said one of the suggestions made by the panel headed by Mukul Wasnik on organisational matters is to revive the Parliamentary Board mechanism, a key demand of the G-23 leadership. The mechanism of Parliamentary Board is enshrined in the Congress constitution but has been defunct since the Narasimha Rao days. Another proposal is for enforcing the ‘one family, one ticket’ rule for elections. Of course, the Gandhis will be exempted.


Party’s great expectations

Even as the Congress has signalled that the Chintan Shivir is aimed at preparing an action plan, the question is whether the party will go for some radical idea to capture the imagination of the masses or will the event end up as a another government-bashing exercise. It will be a test for the Congress’s appetite to change itself to gear up for the 2024 electoral challenge.

READ: onia says chintan shivir should not become a ritual

It was decided that the party should take a strong stand to counter the politics of hatred and give a call to other parties to come together to take on the BJP. One major concern, outlined by one of the draft resolutions, is the deepening of the “majoritarian sentiment” overshadowing issues like price rise and unemployment. Sources said there will be detailed discussion at the Shivir to address this challenge.

Two of the panels have given suggestions regarding reservation in the organisation. The panel on social justice is learnt to have suggested that there should be 50% reservation for SC, ST, OBC and minorities in the organisation, up from the present 20%; while the panel on youth and empowerment proposed capping 50% of the seats for leaders below 50 years of age. It has also demanded significant representation in the party to leaders aged below 45.

Sonia was forthright at the CWC meeting in signalling that notes of discord should not emerge from the session.

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