Unlike previous brainstorming sessions, where the Congress announced a shift in policy direction, the three-day party conclave in Udaipur will focus on a time-limited and action-oriented reform process within the party, sources said.
According to party sources, some of the reforms that are likely to be part of the declaration once the Chintan Shivir is concluded include reserving half of the party’s positions for those under 50, an active parliamentary council and the formula “one family, a ticket”. . Congress also plans to set a five-year maximum term for organizational positions, with a three-year cooling-off period, sources said.
Acting Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Vadra took part in various panel discussions. While the acting congress president participated in policy and organizational discussions, Priyanka led deliberations to formulate the party’s position, sources said.
Rahul Gandhi, who appears to be the party members’ first choice for the post of Congress speaker, was seen taking notes during the panel discussions.
Mr Gandhi has not yet announced his intention to run for the post of party leader again. He resigned following poor party poll results in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Sources close to him said he still believes a non-Gandhi should lead the party.
Dissidents participating in Chintan Shivir, with the exception of party leader Kapil Sibal, remained together and united at the conclave, sources said, adding they may issue a statement once a consensus emerges.
Congress holds Chintan Shivir after nearly nine-year hiatus while facing ‘unprecedented crisis’ as it remains in power alone in just two states and has less than 100 members in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.