Close on the heels of the Jaipur ‘Chintan Shivir’, the Congress is set to hold two more conclaves for internal brainstorming in the coming week.
The first meeting, to be held on February 14, would focus on the forthcoming Budget session, where Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram would interact with his party colleagues. The very next day, party vice-president Rahul Gandhi would hold his first orientation meeting with the state leaders.
Both the meetings would be held at the All India Congress Committee (AICC) headquarters at 24 Akbar Road. It is after a long time that the venue plays host to such events.
The party top-brass is learnt to have arranged the meeting of the state leaders in Delhi to have a heart-to-heart session with the newly appointed party vice-president.
Rahul’s original plan was to have these sessions at the state capitals and then at the district headquarters. But for reasons best known to the AICC leadership, all the state leaders have been asked to congregate at 24 Akbar Road for a one-day session.
Sources claimed that it was difficult to have a long drawn out travel plan for Rahul, as elections were round the corner. A one-day session, even if it spills over, would give him the opportunity to interact with the leaders at all levels, while saving time.
It seems that for the Congress leadership, readying the ‘young leader’ for the upcoming general elections is more of a priority, than revamping organisational set-up, for long-term goals.
Congress general secretary Janardhan Dwivedi, who has been chaperoning Rahul and playing master-of-ceremonies at his interaction sessions, confirmed on Thursday that the party vice-president would be meeting the Pradesh Congress presidents and the Congress legislative party leaders here on February 15.
The party leaders are expected to discuss the organisational problems they are facing at various states and decide on the steps that need to be taken. Going by his earlier meetings, Rahul is most likely to put emphasis on raising an emotional quotient in the party.
Since the Congress has been out of power in several states, including Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Orissa, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, Rahul may want to focus on these states. In addition, Andhra Pradesh, its electorally crucial state which now faces political crisis, would also get special attention.
In the special session with Chidambaram, the party top-brass is expected to put their heads together to present a budget that would help it win the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Sources said Chidambaram would be expected to not burden the middle class with additional taxes and roll out some populist schemes. “There could be demands of pro-youth measures as well, as majority of the voters in the coming elections will be of below 45 years age group,” they said.