Chintan Shivir: Congress to approve Nav Sankalp declaration after final round of deliberations

With the Congress’ three-day Chintan Shivir in Udaipur set to end on Sunday, the Congress Working Committee is expected to approve its ‘Nav Sankalp’ declaration, laying down several organizational reforms and the party’s stand on several key issues.

The final round of deliberations commenced on Sunday, with various panels submitting their reports to the Congress President, which will be given to the CWC for their final approval.

The CWC meeting was attended by top Congress leaders including party chief Sonia Gandhi, former president Rahul Gandhi and senior leaders Mallikarjun Kharge, Ghulam Nabi Azad, P Chidambaram, and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.

After a string of electoral defeats, the Chintan Shivir was meant to bring Congress leaders from across the country together to brainstorm on party restructuring and to find ways to combat the BJP’s stronghold before the next elections.

On the first day of discussions, Sonia Gandhi said it was time for the party to “self-reflect” as the situation that the party is confronted with is “unprecedented”. Extraordinary situations, she said, call for extraordinary measures.

Among the ideas suggested were imposing an age-ceiling for leaders to hold positions in the organization at all levels and for contesting elections, besides putting in place a term limit for Rajya Sabha members, enforcing a “one family, one poll ticket” rule and a cooling-off period of three years for office-bearers at all levels, including AICC general secretaries after a five-year term.

The party is also planning to give 50 per cent representation to those below 50 years of age at all levels, right from the Congress Working Committee.

On the final day of the Shivir, the party leaders addressed the question of how to counter the BJP’s Hindutva-driven politics. Deliberations at the political challenges committee were frank, at times even heated. There was a lot of back and forth even on whether to mention Hindu or Hindutva in the committee’s report.

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