Udaipur: Congress gears up for Chintan Shivir

Preparations are in full swing in Udaipur, the venue of the AICC Sankalp Chintan Shivir. The Udaipur conclave is being held against the backdrop of electoral reverses that the party suffered

Indian National Congress flag
Indian National Congress flag

Prakash Bhandari

Preparations are in full swing in the city of lakes Udaipur, the venue of the AICC Sankalp Chintan Shivir. The Udaipur conclave is being held against the backdrop of the recent electoral reverses that the party suffered. But there are numerous examples when the century-old party fought back and recaptured the lost political ground.

Senior party leader Salman Khurshid has rightly said that the purpose of the Udaipur Shivir is not to write the manifesto for the state elections in the next two years and the General Elections in 2024 but to examine issues in-depth and relate them with the prevailing thinking pattern of the voter. "Opinions that are inconsistent with our ideology will need preparation of antidotes. The most urgent battle is for the hearts and minds of our people to keep the Idea of India alive. The Udaipur conclave is thus as much about our future as a political party as indeed about how we can help the country in these testing times."

Much thought has been given to the issues that not only confront the party but also the country. The country is witnessing an economic crisis and spiraling prices, particularly the prices of cooking gas and petrol and diesel. The detractors of Congress have been stressing that the Udaipur Shivir would just be an eyewash. But such detractors have forgotten that the Congress had organised similar conclaves at Panchmarhi, Shimla, and Bengaluru and the outcome eventually helped the party in gaining electoral success.

Udaipur is experiencing heatwave and the whole of Rajasthan is reeling under the scorching sun of May. Yet the party has chosen the lake city for the conclave as it wants the message of the Shivir to go to the neighbouring Gujarat where elections are due by the end of the year. The party workers of not only Rajasthan but all over the country are keeping an eye on the outcome of the Udaipur Shivir that would send a very positive message to the party’s cadre to gear up for the challenges ahead.

The BJP is so disturbed by the idea of the Udaipur conclave that it has decided to organise the national executive meeting in Jaipur immediately after the Udaipur conclave.

BJP president J P Nadda spent two days holding rallies in the Bikaner division prior to the Udaipur Shivir.

The BJP’s national executive meeting will be attended by the national office bearers, state general secretaries in charges and co-charges, state presidents, and state general secretaries ( organisation).

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will not be physically present, but he would address the party leaders through video conference.

The meeting which will be presided over by the BJP national president J P Nadda will focus on how to send messages to the people across the country on the achievements of the BJP government.

The meeting will focus on strengthening the organisation in various states and creating a strong organisational base in the southern states.

Meanwhile a political committee has been formed by the AICC to suggest measures to be taken by the party for future coalitions for both state assembly elections and also the Lok Sabha election. This committee, headed by Mallikarjun Kharge will suggest the party on the future coalitions with regional parties. This committee will decide after discussions with the state leaders on the coalition issue. The reports of the various committees would be reviewed during the Shivir.

The political Committee will also be responsible for suggesting the political strategies to be adopted during elections in various states.

The economy panel, headed by the former Union finance minister P Chidambaram, with former Union minister Siddharamaiya, former Rajasthan deputy Chief Minister, Anand Sharma, Manish Tiwari, Rajeev Gowda, Parineeti Shinde, Gaurav Vallabh, and Supriya Shrinet will give suggestions to the party on inflation, GDP and the various measures to improve the economy of the country.

Mukul Wasnik heads another key committee that would suggest to the party how to make the turnaround and bring back on rails a party that has suffered electoral failures which have weakened the party. This committee has Ajay Maken, Tariq Anwar, Ramesh Chennnithalla, Randeep Singh Surjewalam Adhir Ranjan Choudhry, Netta D Souza, and Meenakshi Natarajan as its members. This is a committee with a lot of young elements who are known as loyalists of the party. The suggestions of the committee would be discussed during the Udaipur conclave.

The party has been giving a lot of emphasis on enrolling youth as party members. The committee for youth empowerment headed by Amarinder Singh Raja Warring will give suggestions to the party regarding the enrolment of youth to provide new blood to the party as a part of the rejuvenation process. This committee has BV Srinivas, Neeraj Kundan, Krishna Gowda, Krishna Alleveru, Alka Lamba, Rosie M John, Abhishek Dutt, Krishna Thakur, and Angita Dutta as members.

Similarly, the farmers and agriculture committee headed by Bhupender Singh Hooda and the social justice committee headed by Salman Khurshid would also give its suggestion to the party.

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