Party Chief Sonia Gandhi's opening remarks at the 'Chintan Shivir', which starts on Friday, will set the tone of the brainstorming session to be attended by some 350 invitees.
With Rahul Gandhi virtually leading the political charge, youth is going to be the flavour of the political season at Jaipur with Congress having invited as many as 160-odd young delegates who had been office bearers of Indian Youth Congress and NSUI. This is for the first time such a high representation is being given to youth at such meets.
Party general secretary Janardhan Dwivedi said the brainstorming session will be held on Friday and Saturday in five different groups deliberating on various issues including Emerging Political Challenges and Organisational Strength.
The Prime Minister and Rahul Gandhi will address the AICC meeting and they, along with the Congress chief, would be participating in different sub groups for brief period, Dwivedi told reporters on the preparations for the conclave.
Dwivedi said discussion papers on the five issues, including on the political challenges, have been prepared but made it clear that they should not be treated as views of the party but merely papers to elicit suggestions.
The consensus on the issues will form part of the draft 'Jaipur Declaration' which will be adopted by the AICC meeting having 1,000-odd delegates.
The Congress conclave could be a repeat of its Shimla meet nine years ago on the issue of political alliances with the party deciding against going it alone in the next Lok Sabha elections.
The general opinion at Shimla in 2003 was unity of secular forces as Congress was getting ready for the first experiment of sharing power at the Centre after 8 years in the opposition.
AICC has already given indications that it was going into the alliance mode by setting up a high-level sub committe under senior leader A K Antony to go into the issue of Emerging Political Challenges at the Shivir.
According to a CWC member, the exercise is significant as it is taking place at a time when there were two strains of thought in the party on when to go for polls with a section favouring snap elections by yearend after coming out with a populist budget.
This section insists that the Lok Sabha polls, along with assembly polls of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Delhi and Rajasthan, would find opposition BJP in a bind.
The discussions on political challenges is divided into four points---major strategic challenges before 2014 elections, coalition in states, connecting with middle classes and greater synchronisation between the functioning and ideas of the government.
New Delhi: Congress will come out with a "Jaipur Declaration" at its brainstorming session and the AICC meet concluding on Sunday charting the course of action at a time when Lok Sabha polls are just 16 months away.
First Published: Wednesday, January 16, 2013, 21:04