Congress to hold brainstorming session to revive party in Udaipur next month; panels formed on key issues

Head of Congress media department Randeep Singh Surjewala said that 400 delegates from all over the country would participate in the ‘Chintan Shivir’ that will be held from May 13-15 in Udaipur

Indian National Congress flag
Indian National Congress flag
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NH Political Bureau

In order to chalk out strategies to strengthen the organization at the grass roots level and to boost its electoral prospect, the Congress party has decided to hold a three-day ‘Chintan Shivir’ at Rajasthan’s Udaipur in May.

Head of the Congress media department, Randeep Singh Surjewala said that 400 delegates from all over the country would participate in the ‘Chintan Shivir’ that will be held from May 13-15.

He said that Congress president Sonia Gandhi has decided to constitute an ‘Empowered Action Group’ for 2024 to address political challenges ahead.

Addressing the media outside Sonia Gandhi’s residence at 10, Janpath in the national capital on Monday, Surjewala said that the party president had received a report from a eight-member committee constituted by her on April 21 over a presentation made by poll strategist Prashant Kishore.

“Today she discussed that report with the group. Based on the discussions, the Congress president has decided to constitute an Empowered Action Group-2024 in order to address the political challenges ahead,” Surjewala added.

Committee members KC Venugopal, Digvijaya Singh, Ambika Soni, Jairam Ramesh and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra were present in the meeting held on Monday, besides Surjewala himself.

Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot has praised Kishor, saying that he is a “brand”. Senior Congress leader Veerapa Moily has said those opposing Kishor’s entry to the party are “anti-reformers”.

However, Surjewala avoided direct questions over the entry of Kishor in the party.

Saying that the focus of the deliberations at the ‘Chintan Shivir’ will be on the current political and economic situation, Surjewala asserted, “In addition, matters relating to organisational restructuring and strengthening will be examined. The Chintan Shivir will also deliberate on the broad strategy of the Indian National Congress for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections”.

Meanwhile, Sonia Gandhi has also constituted six coordination panels to prepare the papers and lead the discussion.

As per Congress sources, while the political panel will be headed by Mallikarjun Kharge, the social justice and empowerment panel will be headed by Salman Khurshid. The panel on economy which will prepare the papers and lead the discussion will be headed by former finance Minister P Chidambram.

Mukul Wasnik will head the organization panel. Former Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda will lead the farmers and agriculture panel. Youth and empowerment panel will be headed by Amrinder Singh Raja Warring – the newly appointed head of the Punjab unit of the Congress.

Interestingly, most of the known faces of the so-called G-23 – a group of old Congress leaders that had questioned the leadership in the wake of successive defeats – have found place in this structure.

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