Congress puts on hold ‘Chintan Shivir’
New Delhi: With problems galore for the party and the government, Congress has put on the backburner plans for holding a ‘Chintan Shivir’.
Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, addressing the party plenary on December 19 last year at Burari, had called for a such a 'shivir'.
"How can we think of holding such a ‘shivir’ when so many assembly elections are round the corner?" a senior leader asked in an obvious reference to elections in five states scheduled early next year.
The ‘Chintan Shivir’ to be held on the lines of Pachmarhi and Shimla was expected to give the party an opportunity to refresh perspectives on crucial national issues and also review the functioning of the organisation.
While announcing the 'shivir' at Burari, Sonia Gandhi had said "it will be an occasion to hear the voices of our colleagues, particularly the younger ones, to bring new energy to our thinking."
Sonia Gandhi's announcement had come at a time when the party was facing a series of corruption allegations and smarting under the poll reverses in Bihar.
Incidentally, Pachmarhi conclave was the brainchild of Gandhi, who had taken over as party chief a few months earlier in April 1998 from late Sitaram Kesari when the party was going through a bad patch politically.
At Pachmarhi, Congress had taken an ambivalent position on the issue of coalitions noting that the country was passing through a transient phase.