Keeping focus on Rahul Gandhi’s agenda for ‘rebuilding’ the party and engaging grass-root workers in party ‘s decision making process, PCC on Sunday begin its three-day brain storming session seeking ‘free and frank’ views of the partymen to prepare its strategy for new challenges in the state.
Party general secretary Ambika Soni was with closet with nearly 80 leaders, including four ministers, MLAs, block congress heads and heads of some frontal organisations to elicit their views on the scope for revival of the party’s base, beside spreading Congress ideology among masses.
Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, who was in Delhi to attend meeting of the Chief Minister’s on Niti Ayog, returned to Shimla and drove straight to the party office to meet waiting leaders, who also included cabinet minister like Vidya Stokes.
During Lok Sabha polls, the Congress has lost all the four seats and since then it had been struggling to regroup itself .The move is considered important because of Panchayat and urban local bodies polls slated for this year end.
In the agenda circulated to the first-batch of the leaders invited for today’s discussions, inclusion of the party workers in the decision making and strengthening their voice at all forums was at number three. Other top two items included increasing accountability of the party leaders at all the levels and expansion of the Congress base .
“There were very valuable suggestions from the few block presidents and former MLAs, beside youth Congress leaders about increasing accessibility of the ministers to party workers at regular intervals. It’s a mechanism started by PCC president Sukhwinder Sukhu and Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh to make cabinet ministers spend a day at the PCC office and meet the workers”, said party chief spokesman Naresh Chauhan.
The exercise started last month is also reflection of a perfect coordination between the government and the party, which the AICC general secretary also appreciated.
Beside Health minister Kaul Singh Thakur, Industries Minister Mukesh Agnihotri and minister for social and women empowerment Dhani Ram Shandil also attended the meeting, apart from PCC general secretary Harbhajan Singh Bhaji and vice-president Harsh Mahajan.
When asked objective of the meeting Ambika Soni said this was an effort and vision of Rahul Gandhi to make the party a strong democratic unit and look for greater scope to widen the base and give a voice to the grass root workers. “ Whatever suggestions we get will be complied and submitted to the Congress president Sonia Gandhi”, she added.
Earlier flanked by Transport minister G S Bali –who drove with the AICC general secretary from Chandigarh.
Members of the party’s intellectual cell, Beopar Mandal and different departments too were invited .
Said Naresh Chauhan “we have sent written invitations to more than 200 people and all senior leaders have been contacted on phones also.They have been divided in three groups, each numbering 70 to 80 for next two days “
On AICC general Secretary Aska Kumari, who is also incharge of Haryana and and have claimed that she has not been invited, Chauhan said “She too has been invited for February 10. How come she not be part of such an important session ?”