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Updated: January 19, 2013 17:26 IST

Youth empowerment, Rahul dominate Chintan Shivir Day-2

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Defence Minister A. K. Antony and Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi at the inaugural session of the party's three-day Chintan Shivir in Jaipur. Photo: PTI
Defence Minister A. K. Antony and Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi at the inaugural session of the party's three-day Chintan Shivir in Jaipur. Photo: PTI

Amid talk that Rahul Gandhi will be given a larger responsibility, clamour for declaring the young leader as the Congress Prime Ministerial candidate grew louder in the party’s Chintan Shivir on Saturday.

Union Ministers Jyotiraditya Scindia, Rajiv Shukla, Jitin Prasada and senior leader Manishankar Aiyar batted for larger responsibility for Mr. Gandhi as the party recognised the need to respond to the demands of “new changing India peopled by a more younger” generation.

Young leader Milind Deora said, “It is a consensus and feeling in the Shivir that youths should be empowered”.

On the first day also, a number of leaders including Raj Babbar and Avtar Singh Badhana had demanded that Rahul should be declared Congress PM candidate before the party goes to next Lok Sabha polls.

“Rahul will lead the party during 2014 general elections and would be the prime ministerial candidate,” party leader Sanjay Nirupam said before the discussions began on Day 2.

Uttar Pradesh leader Jitin Prasada said, “Things are being discussed as to how we can ensure participation of youths. Rahul is certainly our leader and he will lead 2014 general elections of Congress and the country as well.”

Union Minister Veeprappa Moily said, “Rahul is already a leader. We have stable leaders we are proud of them. Congress has always enjoyed great leadership. If there is any disconnect, we are discussing these concerns and will ensure that there is proper connect.”

About the demand for larger role to Mr. Gandhi, Union Minister Rajiv Shukla said, “It is to be decided by Sonia and Rahul, we can only demand and we are demanding.”

Party leader Manishankar Aiyar said the entire party is with Rahul Gandhi but it is he, who has to take a decision to adopt a larger responsibility in the party".

“For us, the priority is to empower people and discussions are being made,” he said.

The Modi threat

As the party debated its future course of action and its strategy to come to power in 2014 general elections and reviving the party’s fortunes in States, the leaders did recognise the challenge coming from BJP’s Narendra Modi.

Mr Aiyar, however, felt that Mr. Modi’s projection will work to the advantage of Congress.

“As far as BJP is concern, there is infighting in BJP. They cannot hold such Chintan Shivir because they are the puppets of RSS,” he charged.

“There are several leaders Narendra Modi, Nitin Gadkari, Sushma Swaraj, Murli Manohar Joshi and L K Advani but the Congress is quite clear on its leadership,” Mr. Shukla said.

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how deparate this party is to have a Gandhi name at the helm of affairs ?

from:  ramesh
Posted on: Jan 20, 2013 at 07:41 IST

The Congress party apparently feels that Rahul Gandhi is born to rule.But whether he will rule this country or not will be decided only by the people of this country in the next General Election. Let us not forget that we are still at least legally a democracy.

from:  K.Vijayakumar
Posted on: Jan 19, 2013 at 22:44 IST

Looks like Mr. Aiyar has no shame at all! Congress party members have no
influence in decision making and simply follow sonia, rahul. Mr. Aiyar
must clarify who are the real puppets??

from:  John
Posted on: Jan 19, 2013 at 20:32 IST

"Chintan Shivir" is for empowering and pampering congress itself. Not
for empowering India. Good, congress. You can do anything and
everything very honestly and dutifully to retain the power. Only
power, that's all you want. The power to loot the nation. The power to
bankrupt the nation.

Yesterday, Sonia said, be frugal in expenses, and avoid lavish
weddings. She is instructing her party members to loot, but don't show
it off. And she don't like questions such as "Where the money is
coming from?". What a leader and what a followers!!

India is not your maid, so that you can exploit as you like, congress.
Think truly, honestly and do chintan shivir explicitly for rooting out
corruption, for bringing real changes in the lives of people, by
implementing practical solutions for economical and social problems.

from:  Venugopal Reddy
Posted on: Jan 19, 2013 at 20:26 IST

How pathetic is our democracy ? I feel congress has many good able leaders, they should give the fight for the PM candiature. All parties in india a becoming family driven, DMK, SP, JD(S) karnataka etc ...
Just a family name is not a good reason for taking a stage in party without working for it. Like pampered kid he will not know what to do with his power.

from:  Rajesh Kumar N
Posted on: Jan 19, 2013 at 19:47 IST

How can you call it as Rahul Gandhi's leadership ? After Pundit Jawaharlalal's exit Indira Randhi had to rely on regional party's support. Rajiv won a coffin election in 1984 and in the year 1989 Government the Congress was reduced to a minority After a series of non Congress Governments an election was ordered in 1991 Even in this election it showed while Congress was in a loosing proposition before Rajiv's demise only the voting took place after his death Congress some how or other got a favourable verdict Mr. Rao was compelled to run a minority Govt. In 2004 2009 it had to heavily rely on regional parties for its success Similar will be situation in the next election. So Rahul cannot become a national leader to win any majority for himself

from:  jagannathan
Posted on: Jan 19, 2013 at 19:45 IST

Congress leaders have to worry about two things:how to be in good books
of the family and how to win election.

from:  Kailash Singh
Posted on: Jan 19, 2013 at 19:45 IST

By declaring the youngest member of the nehru family as its prime
ministerial candidate in 2014,the Grand Old Party of India has virtually
ceded ground to the BJP.The writing is clear on the wall.

from:  manoharan
Posted on: Jan 19, 2013 at 19:15 IST

"Chintan Shivir" is for empowering and pampering congress itself. Not
for empowering India.

from:  Venugopal Reddy
Posted on: Jan 19, 2013 at 18:45 IST

If Congress projects Rahul as PM candidate, their decimation will be
worse than ever imagined. Every qualified Indian can make out that he
does not have the caliber to lead the 1.3 billion Indians with complexities. Let us hope and pray that this UPA is buried for some decades, no matter who comes in its place.

from:  Bagota
Posted on: Jan 19, 2013 at 18:32 IST

In the "chintan shivir", sycophants one after another are pitching for Rahul Gandhi to
lead Congress in the 2014 polls. None is talking about his virtues, capabilities,
qualifications, past achievements or political acumen. The media is simply reporting
in big banners, giving an impression as if these are PR managed by the party. Nor is
the media on its own giving any critical commentary or opinion in this regard. Only
some foreign media had sometime back described Rahul as a novice to politics,
despite his mother's apparent wish to crown him.

from:  KS Raghunathan
Posted on: Jan 19, 2013 at 17:17 IST

Nothing new and enthusiastic out of this Chintan. Even a so called
uneducated Rikshwallah predicted the same result.

from:  Malik Ghaus Sultan
Posted on: Jan 19, 2013 at 17:03 IST

@Mr G Parameswaran: At least BJP has some moral ground and there is not communal when you see NDA at larger role. While congress has been the breeding ground for all kinds of communal activities in nation but for politics not for religion. While congress comes under the lower of lower rungs of down market politics and is anti people.

from:  Barkha dutt
Posted on: Jan 19, 2013 at 16:59 IST

Is this the so called "Chintan Shivir" , or the coronation of Yuvaraj Rahul? What a
pathetic trap between a rock and a hard place has Indian politics become. Our
choices are the following (a) a geriatric row of communalist leaders of the BJP
indulging in all forms of proto-fascism, (b) corrupt congregation of royal servants of
the congress party wanting to turn this country into a Banana Republic country club,
(c) collaborators like Samajwadi party, BSP , DMK and the rest of the alphabet soup
sharing the loot and (d) the left totally non-existent. We do have a hard road to hoe

from:  G Parameswaran
Posted on: Jan 19, 2013 at 15:19 IST

God save India.

from:  Natarajan.k
Posted on: Jan 19, 2013 at 15:12 IST
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