New Delhi: With the Congress beginning its two-day long ‘Chintan Sivir’ in Jaipur on Friday to chalk out strategy for 2014 General Elections, the voices getting louder in support of its general secretary Rahul Gandhi’s Prime Ministerial candidature.

“Rahul possesses all the qualities to become Prime Minister,” said  Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahugana ahead of the Chintan Shivir beginning on Friday afternoon and the AICC meet that will follow on Sunday to determine the future course of action for Congress as it prepares for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

Meanwhile, another senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh said, “Congress workers want Rahul to play a ‘pre-dominant’ role in the party but the young leader should not be pressurized.”

Singh, who has worked closely with Gandhi as AICC general secretary Congress’ in-charge of the affairs of Uttar Pradesh, cautiously said, "Please allow Rahul to do his own things. Let him define his role. Why to pressurise him? Instead of anyone pushing him, let him decide his own role on his own…”
Singh said Rahul has already accepted the responsibility of organising 2014 general elections, which he is doing along with looking after the Youth Congress and the NSUI.

Narendra Modi likely to be discussed

Narendra Modi is expected to emerge as a major talking point with his electoral hat trick in Gujarat in the Congress Chintan Shivir with a Congress Working Committee member saying that a discussion on current political scenario cannot take place without direct or indirect mention of the ‘controversial’ BJP leader.

Chintan Sivir

This is the fourth Chintan Shivir and third under the leadership of Sonia Gandhi as the party chief.

There will be discussion on five topics in Jaipur, the most keenly watched to be those on emerging political challenges and organisational strength. The other emerging topics for discussion are- socio-economic challenges, India and the world and empowerment of women.

Asked as to how the scenario at the Jaipur Chintan Shivir is different from that of the Panchmarhi conclave of 1998 and the 2003 conclave at Shimla, Digvijay Singh noted that the demographic profile of the nation has already changed.

"Earlier more attention was on rural areas --- but now we cannot ignore the increase in the urban areas and increase in the urban vote and increase in the middle class," he said.

Singh, who is heading the subgroup on socio-economic challenges for preparing a paper for the Chintan Shivir, said the country has now got a younger profile.

He said the objective of the Congress exercise here is to "shortlist the issues, find solutions and set targets."

Youth will be flavour of the season

Youth will be the flavour of the season in the desert state with over hundred of young delegates who have been office bearers of the Indian Youth Congress and the NSUI attending the three day long brainstorming session. This is for the first time that such a huge representation is being given to youth at such meets.

Veteren Congress leaders Pranab Mukherjee, Karan Singh, Makhan Lal Fotedar and Natwar Singh will not be part of the party’s Chintan Sivir.


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