New Delhi, Jan 18: Congress is witnessing one of its worst phases since its formation during pre-independence days. Congress-led UPA government is facing public wrath for lapses in internal security in the aftermath of brutal Delhi gangrape case and large-number of scams under its rule. The political party is trying its best to come out from the rot.
At the two-day-long Chintan Shivir which kick-started in Jaipur on Friday, Jan 18, Congress leaders will engage themselves in discussing problems confronting them.
Sources say the Congress leaders will discuss on the kind of alliances to be formed with other political parties in the run up to General Elections 2014. Moreover, issue of Rahul Gandhi to lead the party as its prime ministerial candidate will also be reflected in the conclave.
With Rahul Gandhi put in charge of the 2014 poll campaign, Congress will set out on a unique exercise seeking to blend youth and experience to evolve a winning formula for the Lok Sabha elections just 16 months away.
The significance of the two-day Chintan Shivir and the AICC meeting that will follow on Sunday is in view of the fact that a section of the Congress is favouring early Lok Sabha elections to coincide with Assembly polls in five states by the end of the year.
Narendra Modi is expected to emerge as a major talking point with his electoral hattrick in Gujarat with a CWC member saying that a discussion on current Indian politics cannot take place without direct or indirect mention of the controversial BJP leader. Party chief Sonia Gandhi along with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will utilise the meet here to reach out to the middle class as also to evolve approaches that could appeal to the youth as the voter profile is increasingly turning young.
Youth will be the flavour of the season at Jaipur with Congress having invited as many as 160 odd young delegates who have been office bearers of the Indian Youth Congress and the NSUI.
Party leaders are also banking heavily on government's recent initiative on Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) to ensure that subsidies under various central schemes reach in the form of cash directly to the accounts of beneficiaries.
The Congress conclave could be a repeat of its Shimla meet nine years ago on the issue of political alliances with the party deciding against going it alone in the next Lok Sabha elections. The general opinion at Shimla in 2003 was unity of secular forces as Congress was getting ready for the first experiment of sharing power at the Centre after 8 years in the opposition.
(With inputs from PTI)