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HindustanTimes Mon,21 Apr 2014

Congress plans to recast strategy ahead of polls

Saroj Nagi, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, June 03, 2008
First Published: 01:22 IST(3/6/2008) | Last Updated: 01:27 IST(3/6/2008)

The emphasis on reforming the organisation, rebuilding the party’s base and recasting its election strategy following a string of defeats tops the Congress agenda ahead of the year-end assembly elections and the Lok Sabha polls thereafter.

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A three-pronged exercise is underway to help the party prepare the roadmap for the immediate future where it needs to find its own space while keeping its allies together in a coalitional era.

One, a chintan shivir (brainstorming session) is expected soon, perhaps even this month, as the party strives to begin afresh in many states with its traditional supporters, the Brahmins, Dalits and Muslims having shifted their political allegiance over the years.

The Congress will have to contend with the BSP which threatens to undercut it in the forthcoming  elections as well as with a resurgent BJP following the Karnataka results.

Two, the AICC’s Group on Future Challenges and Opportunities will meet on Tuesday to finalise its draft report on intra-party reforms before submitting it to Congress president Sonia Gandhi. As a member of the panel, Rahul has called for structurally changing, broad-basing and democratising the organisation.

Three, Sonia Gandhi has set up a small committee which will, once constituted, give its report 15 days on how to revitalise the organisation.

The party’s earlier exercises on toning up the organisation and its electoral strategy were reflected in the reports prepared by the Antony,  the Manmohan Singh and the Pranab Mukherjee committees.

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