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Cong gears up for Chintan Shivir

Kavita Chowdhury/New Delhi 09 Dec 12 | 12:05 AM

With the victory over FDI in multi-brand retail in Parliament, the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) is now gearing up for the party’s all important ‘Chintan Shivir’ (brainstorming camp) next month.

The ‘shivir’, which is only the third to be ever held, is slated for January 18 and 19 at Jaipur. Congress President Sonia Gandhi has this week appointed a committee, chaired by senior party functionary Motilal Vora, with former minister Ambika Soni as its convener.

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Party sources indicate this ‘Chintan Shivir’, will bear the stamp of Congress scion Rahul Gandhi. “It will be RG’s ( Rahul Gandhi) vision and theme that will be displayed at Jaipur," said a Congress leader. This is in keeping with Rahul Gandhi’s growing stature within the organisation. He has been appointed head of the election coordination committee for the 2014 general elections.

The session which will see all party functionaries, including state Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chiefs, general secretaries and senior leaders in attendance, is likely to thrash out the road map for the 2014 election. Also on the cards are plans to re-draw party’s strategy depending on its performance in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat Assembly polls. The session will also be the forum where party’s manifesto for 2014 will be decided, say party sources.

With just about a month to go before the ‘shivir’, all eyes are now on the committee in charge of organising the session. The ministers to figure in this committee include Defence Minister A K Antony, Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh and Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad. Barring Chidambaram, all other ministers have perennially been involved in party work; Chidambaram’s inclusion is an indication of his growing clout and involvement in organisational affairs of late.

The other party functionaries who are members of this committee include Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary Ahmed Patel and senior leaders Janardan Dwivedi, Digvijay Singh and Oscar Fernandes.

According to sources, the much talked about AICC reshuffle, which is likely to take place in the run up to the shivir, will only be to the extent of appointing new general secretaries incharge of states.

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