New Delhi: The Congress conclave at Jaipur this week 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 experiement of sharing power at the Centre after 8 years in the opposition.
In 2013 too, the emphasis is on alliances as party leaders are talking of formation of a UPA-III and AICC is in search of new friends and allies to retain power.
AICC has already given indications that it was going into the alliance mode by setting up a high-level sub committe under senior leader AK 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.
Sources said the sub-group headed by Antony has decided to focus the discussion on 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.