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Rahul Gandhi starts deliberations after string of poll reverses

Rahul Gandhi has embarked on brainstorming sessions with senior Congress leaders to decide the future course for the party.

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Updated:October 31, 2014, 8:17 PM IST
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Rahul Gandhi starts deliberations after string of poll reverses
Rahul Gandhi has embarked on brainstorming sessions with senior Congress leaders to decide the future course for the party.

New Delhi: Rahul Gandhi has embarked on brainstorming sessions with senior Congress leaders to decide the future course for the party in the wake of a string of electoral debacles since the Lok Sabha polls in May.

As part of the exercise, the Congress Vice President held lengthy consultations with senior party leaders Sushilkumar Shinde, Amarinder Singh, Janardan Dwivedi, Mukul Wasnik, Girija Vyas, Shashi Tharoor and Ajay Maken.

This was the third such interactive session held by him in the last few days, seen as an exercise by the leadership to assess the situation to decide the future course, Maken told reporters.

While the Antony Committee, which went into the debacle in the Lok Sabha polls, was the first step, the interactive sessions initiated by Gandhi is the second step in the plans to decide the future course and strengthen the organisation.

Gandhi's exercise comes close on the heels of the party losing power in Maharashtra after 15 years and finishing third in Haryana in the Assembly elections held recently.

The talk in the party is that the exercise initiated by Gandhi was akin to "mini Chintan shivirs" to generate fresh ideas for revival of the organisation.

The Congress leadership has been talking about holding a 'Chintan shivir' ever since the defeat in the Lok Sabha polls in May which saw the party securing the lowest number of seats, 44, in the 543-member Lower House.

Reports had it that Gandhi has called leaders from across the country to Delhi to draw up a strategy to "revive" the party and stop the BJP's "upsurge" under Narendra Modi.

On Thursday, he chaired a meeting of party leaders, including Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ambika Soni, Jaipal Reddy, Jairam Ramesh, Sachin Pilot and Meenakshi Natarajan, Mani Shankar Aiyer and Ashok Tanwar.

Party chief Sonia Gandhi is not participating in the "first of its kind" meeting -- a signal that Rahul may play a more pro-active role in the party in the coming months.

An organisational revamp is long overdue in the party. The process of party polls has also been set in motion with Gandhi asking party leaders to utilise the exercise as an opportunity to revive and revitalise the organisation.

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