A taskforce to drive internal reforms was announced by Sonia Gandhi on Sunday as the Congress held the last day of its 3-day Chintan Shivir with an eye on the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Among the highlights of the brainstorming session was the announcement of a nationwide ‘Kashmir to Kanyakumari Bharat Jodo’ yatra by the party in October. "We have to revive our connection with people and need to accept that it has broken down." We will strengthen it. This will not happen with any short-cut, it requires hard work... The Congress will take out a nationwide yatra in October to strengthen connections with people, "Rahul Gandhi said." The 'One family, one ticket’ rule was another significant highlight at the Chintan Shivir, with a caveat that those who have worked for five years in the organization can be eligible for poll tickets.
Here are ten points on the 3-day Congress by Chintan Shivir:
1. The Congress’s pan-India "Bharat Jodo Yatra" will be held from Kashmir to Kanyakumari on October 2, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, party chief Sonia Gandhi announced on Sunday. On day 3 of the brainstorming conclave, she declared, "The Yatra is to strengthen the bonds of social harmony that are under stress; to preserve the foundational values of our constitution that are under assault; and to highlight the day-to-day concerns of crores of our people."
2. "We will have to find a way to accommodate seniors like me to easily participate without running out of breath." "We will overcome. That is our determination. That is our ‘Nav Sankalp’ (new resolution)," she said as the Congress leadership pledged a revamp ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.
3. While the idea of the G-23 rebels of reviving the party’s parliamentary board was not cleared, an internal taskforce has been declared by the party with an eye on the next national elections. "These reforms will focus on the 2024 Lok Sabha polls and will cover all aspects of the organization, including structure, rules for appointments to party posts, communications and publicity, outreach, finances, and election management," the Congress chief said.
4. The Congress has announced the setting up of an election management department, which is said to be a key suggestion of poll strategist Prashant Kishor. The party will also set up a public feedback department to provide "rational feedback" on various issues for policymaking and a national training institute for the training of party leaders.
5. On the concluding day of the conclave, Rahul Gandhi targeted the BJP and RSS, stressing, "The most senior leadership is bluntly told what the Congress party feels." Even regional parties would not tolerate the types of conversations we had. Every day we are attacked because we allow conversation in our party. "
6. "Which other political party in this country would allow this type of conversation?" Certainly, the BJP and RSS would never allow such a thing. "India is a union of states. The people of India come together to form the union," the former Congress chief said.
7. Rahul Gandhi also attacked the government over inflation and said it is set to rise in the future. "Inflation will rise in the near future. Unemployment, inflation, and attacks on India’s institutions are on the rise. "We have to ensure they don’t set the country on fire," he said. He insisted that only the Congress could fight the BJP and not the regional parties.
8. On Saturday, the Congress raised the demand for job reservations in the public sector. "This government is selling off public sector companies, diluting the reservation for jobs in government entities. Therefore, we are seeking a quota in the private sector to protect the interests of the weaker section, "Salman Khurshid, a former union minister, said.
9. The party has also sought a quota within a quota in the Women’s Reservation Bill, which aims to entail further reservation of seats for women from the weaker sections of society within the one-third quota. The Mallikarjun Kharge-led panel also questioned the credibility of the electronic voting machines.
10. The mega Chintan Shivir began on Friday in Rajasthan’s Udaipur, the city of lakes. The Gandhis and a large number of Congress leaders were in attendance at the conclave, believed to be one of the party’s largest in recent times. On day 2, the party received a blow with ex-Punjabi Congress chief Sunil Jakhar’s resignation.