As the Congress gives a final shape to a list of items for discussion at its ‘chintan shivir’ in Jaipur from Friday, the party also has to take into account some of the unfinished agenda from its previous such brainstorming sessions at Pachmarhi in 1998 and Shimla in 2003.
The party broadly followed up and tried to get its agenda implemented but some of the declarations at these two camps remained only on paper for a variety of reasons.
At the Pachmarhi vichar manthan shivir (introspection camp) held from 4-6 September 1998 after Sonia Gandhi took over the reins of the party, the Congress had resolved to work tirelessly to revive the organisation in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu. But for the past 15 years, the party has repeatedly failed to recapture its political and social base in these vital states.
The party had also noted with concern the inadequacy of attention to voluntary population control measures and decided to make it a key element of the party programme. Accordingly, the party decided that any member with more than two children after 1 January 2000 would be ineligible for any party office and also would not be considered for party ticket in any election.
Congress activists were also asked to mobilise at least 10 families to adopt population
control measures based on the two-child norm. However, all these directives have remained on paper only.
Similarly, some of the programmes listed at the Shimla conclave held from 7-9 July 2003 too have not been implemented so far.
Firstly, the party had decided to establish a national training institute to enable its workers and leaders to go through an annual orientation course on contemporary political, economic and social issues. It was also resolved that party office- bearers would disclose and declare their assets regularly and the code of austerity and ethics followed strictly and enforced scrupulously.
The Bapu Sadbhavana and Shiksha Trust mooted to fight prejudice and communalisation of education is yet to see the light of the day.