Congress panel to complete deliberations on changes in party, making it poll-ready in 2-3 days

NEW DELHI: A special committee of Congress leaders constituted by party president Sonia Gandhi to suggest measures for strengthening the organisation and to make it ready for the next round of elections will submit its report in the next two-three days.
The committee on Wednesday met chief ministers of Congress-ruled Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh and held deliberations with them on the way forward and for evolving the party’s poll strategy.
Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot and Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel also met Gandhi here and discussed the organisation’s strategy for the upcoming assembly and general elections.
The meeting was part of the deliberations being held to evolve a long-term strategy for the Congress and discuss the plan presented by poll strategist Prashant Kishor.
Gehlot and Baghel landed in the national capital on Wednesday morning and met the Congress chief at her residence where Kishor was also present.
During the meeting that lasted several hours, the two chief ministers discussed their poll plans for the respective states and asked Kishor to give his additional suggestions to be implemented there, sources said.
They are learnt to have discussed Kishor’s strategy and deliberated on it with other party leaders who are part of the committee.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told reporters that the committee has been holding deliberations for the last two-three days and would submit its report in the next three days after completing deliberations.
“For the last three days, these deliberations have been held. We propose to conclude these deliberations over the next 48 to 72 hours,” he told reporters after the five-hour meeting.
Asked on whether the committee will give its decision on the entry of Kishor in the Congress fold, Surjewala said, “The role of the committee is not to suggest whether a particular persons should be included in the Congress party or not and is to suggest measures to strengthen the organisation for contesting elections and prepare it for 2024 general elections and other state assembly elections.”
The committee has taken note of the suggestions given by Kishor and has been deliberating on them, he said.
Surjewala said the committee was set up by Gandhi to help strengthen the organisation and dwell on its future poll strategy and bring about organisational changes and help make the Congress policies to highlight the pain of people of the country.
“Those suggestions include the ways and means to strengthen the Congress organisation and connect it to the large amount of masses. Those suggestions also include gearing up of the Congress for upcoming elections leading up to 2024, both the state assembly and central elections,” he said.
“The Congress organisation must adapt to all these changes and that is why this committee has been holding deliberations for the last three days on the various suggestions given by Prashant Kishor as also by various seasoned leaders from time to time to Congress president,” he said.
Surjewala said since the two chief ministers have vast organisational and administrative experience, the committee thought it fit to request them to join the deliberations. “We have had a fruitful round of discussions with both Ashok Gehlot and Bhupesh Baghel,” he said.
Gehlot also told reporters that Kishor has become a brand in the country, who was with Narendra Modi in 2014 Parliament elections and later with Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar and then with the Congress in Punjab and with many other leaders.
“It will be good if his experience is used in uniting the opposition and in fighting the NDA government of PM Modi and there is need to do so, as the manner in which there is violence during festivals and which way it will take the country towards,” Gehlot said, noting that this is not the first time the advice of experts like him is being taken.
A group of senior party leaders including Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, K C Venugopal, P Chidambaram, Jairam Ramesh, Digvijaya Singh and Randeep Surjewala, are looking into Kishor’s plan and will present a report to the Congress president on it within the next two-three days.
The poll strategist had presented his plan before the top Congress leadership on Saturday and the party president had formed a panel to look into it and give its report.
The Congress is striving to strengthen the organisation and fight the BJP at the hustings after suffering a series of electoral losses in recent assembly polls. The party has admitted that it failed to impress upon the people about the “failures” of the BJP government.

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