Unlike previous brainstorming sessions, where Congress announced a shift in the policy direction, the party’s three-day conclave in Udaipur will focus on a time-bound and action-oriented reform process within the party, sources said.
According to the party sources, some of the reforms which will likely be part of the declaration once the Chintan Shivir concludes, include reserving half of the party posts for those under 50, an active parliamentary board and the “one family, one ticket” formula. Congress is also planning to fix a maximum of five-year tenure for the organisational positions, with a cooling-off period of three years, sources said.
Interim Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Vadra took part in various panel discussions. While the interim Congress President participated in the political and organisational discussions, Priyanka led deliberations to formulate the party’s position, sources said.
Rahul Gandhi, who appears to be the first choice of the party members for the post of Congress President, was seen taking notes at the panel discussions.
Mr Gandhi has yet not made his intention of contesting again for the post of party chief clear. He resigned following the party’s poor poll performance in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Sources close to him have indicated that he still feels that a non-Gandhi should lead the party.
The dissenters who are participating in the Chintan Shivir, barring senior party leader Kapil Sibal, stayed together and united at the conclave, sources said, adding that they could make a statement once a consensus emerges.
The Congress is holding the Chintan Shivir after a gap of almost nine years while facing “an unprecedented crisis” as it remains in power on its own in just two states and has less than 100 members in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.