Congress president Sonia Gandhi's address to party leaders and activists at the start of the two-day Shivir here was more of a critical analysis of the performance of both the UPA II government as well as the functioning of the AICC over the last few years.
More than that, Friday's address was a clear hint that the time has indeed come to consider a radical change in the party machinery, where the younger brigade should be given more responsibility and training not only to understand the set of issues faced by the nation, but also prepare a blueprint for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
Gandhi not only gave a left hand pat to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for having started so many programmes for the welfare of a cross section of people, but also sent a veiled warning that some urgent steps were indeed needed to be taken to ensure that the sliding vote base of the party did not shrink any further.
She not only admitted that the Congress party has not been able to consolidate the gains even in those states where it had been in power, She lamented that infighting within the party at various levels and the garrulous show of pomp and money by some party functionaries had actually thrown her advice on austerity measures to the wind.
In fact, the tone and tenor of the importance of subjects to be delved on and deliberated upon in this two day conclave could seen by the introductory remark made by Congress leader Ambika Soni who emphasized on the need for giving more responsibility to the youth as they had to prepare for the future of the party and the nation in the coming days.
This third Chintan Shivir is a follow-up to the two held previously in Panchmarhi and Shimla. The objective again would be to draw out a fresh action plan and a comprehensive blue print for the party to follow in the light of emerging political realities.
The Jaipur declaration is going to be followed by AICC session to ratify and implement recommendations.
Secondly, it is for the first time that more than 160 elected and young delegates from both NSUI and Youth Congress are attending the conclave.
They are being encouraged to frankly debate emerging political, socio-economic challenges, women empowerment, India and the world and the organizational structure and changes needed to make the Congress party more responsible and pro active vis a vis 2014 polls. By Sitesh Dwivedi (ANI)