Cong `chintan shivir` on the backburner
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Last Updated: Wednesday, March 02, 2011, 21:52
  
New Delhi: Congress plans of a brainstorming session this month appears to have been put on the backburner in the wake of the announcement of Assembly elections in five states.

"You don't think about holding such meets when you are facing elections in several states," a senior party leader remarked a day after the poll schedule of West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Assam and Puducherry was announced.

As per earlier plans, Congress was toying with the idea of holding the brainstorming session of senior leaders somewhere in Rajasthan this month.

Jaipur and Jodhpur were being talked about the likely venue for the meet which was planned to be held during the recess period of the Budget session of Parliament.

At the Congress plenary session here two months back, party chief Sonia Gandhi had announced plans to hold the brainstorming meet to generate fresh ideas and had indicated that young leaders would also be involved in the exercise.

Gandhi's announcement about the party turning introspective had come at a time when Congress and its government at the Centre was hammered by the courts and trapped by scams and corruption charges and the party had faced a crushing defeat in the Bihar Assembly polls.

It was seen as an effort to make the organisation battle ready.

At the plenary, Gandhi had said a 'Chintan Shivir' would be held in the next few months to give the party "an opportunity to refresh its perspectives on crucial national issues and also review the functioning of the organisation."

Incidentally, holding of such 'shivirs' is the brainchild of Gandhi. She had held Pachmarhi conclave in 1998, just a few months after taking over as party chief from the late Sitaram Kesari when the party was going through a bad patch.

At Pachmarhi, Congress had taken an ambivalent position on the issue of coalitions noting that the country was passing through a transient phase.

Gandhi had organised the Shimla conclave in 2003 and the Shimla resolve calling for unity of all secular forces resulted in the ouster of the BJP-led NDA in mid 2004 under her leadership.

At the recent plenary, Gandhi had underlined that throughout its history, the Congress has been a party of ideas responding to changing political and economic circumstances.

"I firmly believe that we must periodically introspect together and if necessary reassess our position on critical issues to keep pace with the time," she had said announcing her plans about the meet.

Her refrain was that the party's future will depend on its capacity to work together as a team and to ensure that the organisation "does not pull in different directions".

PTI


First Published: Wednesday, March 02, 2011, 21:52


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