Jaipur: A demand for declaring Rahul Gandhi as the Prime Ministerial candidate of the party before 2014 polls was made at the Congress brainstorming conclave that began here on Friday.

READ MORE: Congress pitches for Rahul as next PM

Conflicting views on alliances, including the demand for going it alone in some states, and a review of the decision of diesel price decontrol were among a host of issues raised at the Chintan Shivir, the two-day conclave that will be followed by a day-long session of AICC on Sunday.
MPs Raj Babbar, Avtar Singh Badana and some other members made the demand for Rahul as PM at the strategy meet attended by significantly over 150 members of the Youth Congress and NSUI delegates who were invited at the instance of Rahul Gandhi.
A strong demand for stern resolution against Pakistan and an early decision on Telangana were also made during the discussions which also saw Rahul advocating on-line membership facilities at block level and ruing that party workers at district and block levels are not getting adequate attention.


Discussion on women empowerment

The discussion on the issue of women empowerment also saw a strong demand for passage of the long-pending women reservation bill which seeks to provide 33 percent reservation in Parliament and assemblies.
While all women members, including Union Minister Jayanthi Natarajan, favoured its early passage, AICC secretary Praveen Davar, while making a strong pitch for it, said the clearance of the bill should not be the responsibility of only women members and that it was time male members in the party also treat it on a priority basis.

Fight for allies

Speaking in the sub-group on Emerging Political Challenges, a large number of speakers advocated caution on the issue of alliance saying the regional parties turn out to be ultimate beneficiaries damaging Congress in the long run.
Some favoured the party to go alone in next general elections saying there is no need to rush into alliances as regional parties are finishing Congress.
However, the base paper for the discussion appeared inclined towards finding new friends and allies. During the discussions, representatives from Bihar, Orissa, UP and Maharashtra spoke against alliance.
Union Minister Deepa Dasmunshi said there was a need to be clear whether Congress wants to contest next Lok Sabha elections alone or in alliance.
She said there is need to shed ambiguity on it. Dasmunshi also said Congress needs to be more assertive whether it is about dealing with the Opposition or allies and the party should not bend before them.
Some of the members said Congress was not attacking YSR Congress leader in Andhra Pradesh Jaganmohan Reddy, which is working to his advantage.
During the discussions, some members accused social media and television channels of having an anti-Congress bias aruging that while they highlighted the Delhi gang-rape case, rape cases in BJP-ruled Chhattishgarh went under-reported.


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