After a continuous drubbing in several elections, the Congress party on Friday got into an introspection mode with party chief Sonia Gandhi exhorting the delegates on day one of a 3-day ‘Chintan shivir’ to send out a strong message of internal unity and organisation.
Simultaneously, she lambasted Prime Minister Narendra Modi for misusing his ‘minimum government, maximum governance’ mantra to “brutalise” the minorities and “threaten” political opponents.
Ensuring that the session that began in Udaipur in Rajasthan remained one for introspection and generation of fresh ideas, Sonia Gandhi said, “It is both ‘Chintan’ about national issues and meaningful ‘aatmachintan’ (self-introspection) about our party organisation.”
She said the Chintan Shivir was an occasion to deliberate “on the many challenges ahead of us and bring organisational changes.”
Conceding that the need of the hour is a major organisational overhaul and that “we need to change the way of our working”, Gandhi urged party leaders to keep the organisation “above personal ambitions.”
The Congress chief stressed, “The party has given us a lot and it’s time to pay back.”
Congress General Secretary Ajay Maken, meanwhile, told a press conference that the Congress is working on a ‘One family, one ticket’ formula granting exemption to only another family member who has been doing “exemplary work” for the party for at least five years.
The grand old party promised big-ticket changes while acknowledging that it had not kept pace with changing times, Maken said.
She explained that the BJP is using our “society’s age-old pluralities to divide us and subverting a carefully nurtured idea of unity and diversity”. She criticized Narendra Modi for keeping the country in a permanent state of polarisation, “brutalising” minorities and “threatening” political opponents.
As many as 400 delegates are attending the three-day Chintan Shivir, which intends to go into subject-specific issues across six groups. These discussions will continue on the first and second days. Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, besides a host of senior leaders from across the country, will be at the lake town Udaipur, neighbouring Gujarat.
The conclusions will be recorded in the form of a declaration, a draft of which will be discussed at the Congress Working Committee meeting to be held there on the third and last day.