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Congress to form ‘Empowered Action Group’ for LS polls

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By PTI Updated: Apr 25, 2022 10:07 pm
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New Delhi, April 25 (PTI): Buffeted by a string of electoral reverses, the Congress on Monday announced an empowered group will be constituted to address the political challenges ahead and prepare the strategy for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, days after deliberating on a revival plan presented by poll strategist Prashant Kishor.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi also decided to convene a ‘Chintan Shivir’, a three-day brainstorming session from May 13-15 in Udaipur, where party leaders from across the country will discuss internal issues confronting it and come up with solutions to galvanise the organisation.

Gandhi also constituted six coordination panels for drafting papers and leading discussions on the issues of political and organisational importance, social justice, economy, farmers and youth during the three-day brainstorming conclave.

While Mallikarjun Kharge will lead the panel on political issues, Bhupinder Singh Hooda will head the committee on agriculture and farmers. Mukul Wasnik will spearhead the coordination panel for organisational matters. She has included many of the G 23 leaders, who have been insisting on an overhaul of the organisation, in these panels

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told reporters that Gandhi will constitute the Empowered Group soon to devise a comprehensive strategy for the 2024 general elections.

A section of the Congress has reservations over Kishor’s entry into the party, particularly after the Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC), an organisation he founded, signed an agreement with Telangana’s ruling TRS for the next assembly elections. The Congress has adversarial relations with the Telangana Rashtra Samithi in the state.

AICC pointsman for Telangana Manickam Tagore had reacted sharply to Kishor’s meeting with Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and other TRS leaders on Saturday and Sunday before the deal was announced.

“Never trust someone who is friends with your enemy,” Tagore tweeted on Sunday.

Kishor has been insisting he is no longer associated with the I-PAC.

The decisions by the Congress aimed at reviving the party were taken at a meeting of senior leaders who also discussed the plan presented by Kishor.

“The Congress president received a report from the eight-member group on April 21. Today, she discussed the report with the group, and based on the discussions, the Congress president has decided to constitute an ‘Empowered Action Group-2024’ in order to address the political challenges ahead,” Surjewala said.

Congress likely to meet today to decide PKs role

The Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi on Monday is likely to hold consultation with senior leaders on the role of political strategist Prashant Kishor in the party.

The group, which was constituted to discuss the issue, submitted its report last week.

The Congress wants Kishor to end his previous commitments made to other parties and work solely as a Congressman and not as a consultant. The final decision may be taken after talks with Rahul Gandhi.

The state units are pitched against regional parties in West Bengal, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Hence, it does not want Kishor to have any truck with the regional parties.

The party leaders, who have submitted their report on the issue, admit that there is no harm in the political strategist joining the party but there should be no conflict wherever the party is pitched against regional forces.

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By PTI Updated: Apr 25, 2022 10:07:11 pm