JAMMU: With the Congress announcing a host of internal reforms, party chief Sonia Gandhi today said a task force would be set up in the next 2-3 days to implement them and an advisory committee of CWC members headed by her will be formed to deliberate on political issues, making it clear that it will not be a collective decision-making body.
Her assertion assumes significance as the G-23 dissident leaders had made a persistent call for “collective leadership” in the party while demanding an organisational overhaul.
In her concluding remarks at the Chintan Shivir, Sonia Gandhi said the three-day conclave has been “very useful and productive” as many leaders expressed their views openly and offered suggestions in a spirit of constructive participation.
“We will overcome. That is our determination. That is our Nav Sankalp (new resolution). The Congress will have a new uday (dawn). That is our Nav Sankalp,” said the 75-year-old longest-serving president of the party which has seen a sharp decline in its electoral fortunes since 2014.
Gandhi said a compact task force will be set up to drive the process of internal reforms that are essential and have been discussed in different groups during the Udaipur meeting.
These reforms with a focus on the 2024 Lok Sabha polls will cover all aspects of the organisation including structure, rules for appointments to party posts, communications and publicity, outreach, finances and election management, she said in her concluding remarks.
The composition of the task force will be notified in the next two-three days.
“I have also decided to have an advisory group drawn from the CWC that would meet regularly under my chairpersonship to discuss and deliberate upon political issues and challenges before our party. Of course, we do have the CWC that meets from time to time and that will continue.
“The new group is not, however, a collective decision-making body but will help me get the benefit of the vast experience of senior colleagues,” she asserted and said it will be notified very soon.
Gandhi also announced that the Congress will launch a national Kanyakumari to Kashmir “Bharat Jodo Yatra” beginning October 2 on Gandhi Jayanti this year and everyone will participate in it.
“All of us, young and old, will participate in it. Seniors will have to find ways to accommodate seniors like me in this, on how to easily participate in this yatra without having to run out of breath…,” she said in a lighter vein.
The yatra, she said, is aimed at strengthening the bonds of social harmony “that are under stress, preserving the foundational values of our Constitution that are under assault” and highlighting the day-to-day concerns of crores of people.
The Congress chief said phase-2 of the district-level Jan Jagran Abhiyan that was launched earlier will resume on June 15 and will highlight economic issues especially the “growing unemployment and intolerable price rise that is destroying livelihoods”.
The summary of discussions of each of the six groups will inform about the party positions, policies and programmes and will be of value in preparing manifestos for state and national elections, she said.
She said that some of the ideas of the organisation panel are part of the Udaipur Nav Sankalp Declaration and assured that detailed recommendations of the group will be acted upon expeditiously.
“We will undoubtedly leave re-energised with a refreshed spirit of collective purpose,” she said.
Gandhi said throughout the last three days, colleagues have come to know each other, to meet and interact with senior and younger colleagues and said she sat through all the six groups and listened to some of the speakers.
She said that on a personal note at the dinner hosted last night, she felt that she spent the evening with “my family, and my larger family”.
“I was touched when some of the younger guests and colleagues shared the same view. So I hope that this is the spirit in which we will disperse from this Chintan Shivir,” she said.
Over 400 party leaders from across the country participated in the deliberations at the Shivir which was announced after renewed calls for reforms in the party in the wake of a string of electoral reverses.