Chintan Shivir: Draft resolution calls for pan-India 'padayatras' to connect with people

Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi addresses party leaders during the party's 'Nav Sankalp Chintan Shivir', in Udaipur. Photo: PTI

Udaipur: A draft political affairs resolution presented at the Congress's three-day Chintan Shivir here recommended the leaders, including Rahul Gandhi, to take up nationwide "padayatras" to connect with the people at the grassroots level.

State-level leaders should immediately commence the "padayatras" (journey by foot) aimed at the Lok Sabha election in 2024, traversing villages, and holding house visits. The recommendation was made considering the party's lost clout at the grassroots level.

The Congress should initiate massive and extensive movements highlighting the BJP government's anti-people policies. The fight against BJP -- Jan Jagran Abhiyan -- should reach the people and spill over to the streets.

The Shivir also demanded that the All India Congress Committee should have a full-time president. Sonia Gandhi has been continuing as the interim president for the past two years.

Even while cooperating with like-minded parties, the Congress should also strive to strengthen itself organisationally at all levels. The party should take up the leadership of a collective opposition against the BJP.

Besides growing in strength from the block level onwards, the party should be open to practical alliances. Oommen Chandy and V K Sreekantan, who were part of the committee that drafted the resolution, demanded that the party should take the initiative to form a strong opposition alliance.

North-South divide over joining hands with religious outfits

The draft political affairs resolution also sparked a dispute over a recommendation on joining hands with religious organisations to widen the party's support base.

Leaders from south India, including Kerala, opposed the recommendation, saying such a move would taint the party's secular image.

Leaders from north India, including Uttar Pradesh, countered, pointing out that keeping religious outfits away would lead to a political backlash.

They argued that such alliances would be necessary to take on BJP's politics based on Hindutva.

Chairman of political affairs committee M Mallikarjun Kharge said a final decision on the issue would be made at the working committee meeting scheduled for Sunday.

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