Congress prepares for ‘Chintan Shivir’ in Rajasthan

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Veteran leaders including Sonia Gandhi, Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi will attend the Chintan Shivir in Rajasthan’s Udaipur, reports Asian Lite News

After around nine years, the All India Congress Committee (AICC) will hold a Chintan Shivir in Rajasthan’s Udaipur, tentatively from May 14 to 16, said Congress sources.

They confirmed that veteran leaders including Sonia Gandhi, Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi will attend the camp. Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has already toured Udaipur in this regard and will undertake another tour to review the arrangements, they added.

Sources said that Sonia Gandhi has recently met poll strategist Prashant Kishor to discuss his strategies for the next Lok Sabha polls and Ashok Gehlot with other veterans is in Delhi for the next rounds of Kishor’s presentation.

Once all the leaders are on the same page, the strategies will be discussed at the Chintan Shivir.

The reason behind organising this Chintan Shivir is the forthcoming Gujarat Assembly elections. Also, the recent Congress defeat in five states will be discussed, informed Congress workers.

Gehlot was the in-charge for the last Gujarat assembly polls. This time, Raghu Sharma, another Rajasthan leader and former Health Minister from the desert state, has been made in-charge of the Gujarat polls.

Sources said that although Raghu Sharma is in charge of Gujarat in this election, Gehlot will remain the chief strategist and this could be one of the reasons why the camp is being organised in Udaipur.

In the 2017 elections, the Congress got 77 seats and the BJP got 99 seats. The Congress in fact got 16 seats more than what it grabbed in 2012 and the BJP at the same time lost 16 seats. The vote share of the Congress was 41.4 per cent which was an increase of 2.5 percent over 2012.

Earlier in January 2013, the Congress’s Chintan Shivir was held in Jaipur.

‘PK emerged as a brand’

The speculations regarding the entry of poll strategist Prashant Kishor (PK) into Congress has gained momentum after Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said PK has emerged as a brand.

Kishor has worked with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, and had also teamed with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

“This is a professional task,” said Gehlot, who was in Delhi on Wednesday to attend a presentation session by Kishor.

Gehlot was accompanied by Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, and Congress president Sonia Gandhi during the presentation being made to the party veterans.

Before the presentation, Gehlot spoke to the media, and said: “PK’s name has gone bigger,” he said, adding: “Opposition should use the experience of veterans, we have been taking the views of experts.”

After Gehlot’s statement, the speculation of Kishor joining the Congress intensified.

It is noteworthy that after the statement made by the senior Congress leader in support of Prashant Kishor, it is believed that soon, the party shall announce the inclusion of the poll strategist in the Congress.

Recently, PK met Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and since then, speculations regarding joining the Congress are doing the rounds.

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