Event will possibly be the biggest congregation of Cong. leaders before the 2014 general elections

Several senior Congress leaders met here on Saturday to take stock of the preparations for the All India Congress Committee’s (AICC) “ chintan shivir ” (brainstorming camp) scheduled to be held here from January 18-20.

The meeting was attended by Ahmed Patel, political secretary to AICC president Sonia Gandhi; Motilal Vohra, AICC treasurer; Ambika Soni, chairperson and convener of the coordinating committee for the camp; and AICC general secretaries Mukul Wasnik, Oscar fernandes and Janardan Dwivedi.

The three-day event — comprising the chintan shivir and a party mini-delegation meet on January 20 — will possibly be the biggest all-India congregation of Congress leaders from across the country before the 2014 general elections.

The event will be attended by Ms. Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi and all other senior party leaders from across India, including most ministers of the UPA government.

“We are here to review and assess the preparations for the meet and to delegate responsibilities,” AICC general secretary Janardan Dwivedi told media persons.

“We have decided to keep the event very simple and away from all grandeur,” said Mr. Dwivedi.

The organising committee has been instructed not to book rooms in any five-star hotels and arrange, instead, for guest, circuit houses.

Asked whether the event will witness the “ taajposhi ” (coronation) of Rahul Gandhi, Mr. Dwivedi said such words were irrelevant as it was clear to everybody that Mr. Gandhi held a very important position in the party.

The Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee (RPCC) will play a supporting role in organising the event.

“The first two days will witness the participation of around 250 delegates while the mini-delegation on the 20th will see over 1,200 delegates,” RPCC spokesperson Kuldeep Sharma told The Hindu .

After holding the review meeting at a hotel here, the six AICC officials made a brief stopover at the Birla auditorium — the venue of the chintan shivir — and reviewed preparations there.

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