Congress to usher in major organisational changes

One family one ticket rule, restrictions on successive tenures for office-bearers, 50 under 50 rule to ensure that half of the party posts are given to people under 50 years of age and in-house survey mechanism are among the major organisational changes that the Congress is all set to bring about after the three-day Nav Sankalp chintan shivir that got under way on Friday.

Setting the tone for ushering in changes, party president Sonia Gandhi, while addressing the inaugural session of the conclave, stressed that the party was in dire need of a change in its style of functioning.

The ‘One family, one ticket’ rule, however, will come with a rider as it seeks to grant exemption to another family member who has been doing “exemplary work”.

“The discussions at the Shivir will lay the foundation for a massive organisational overhaul. The ‘One family, one ticket’ rule has been discussed and will be discussed further. There is near-consensus on this formula and exception will only be made if the second ticket aspirant has worked in the party for five years, doing exemplary work,” Ajay Maken, a member of the panel discussing organisational restructuring, told reporters.

This would, effectively, mean that members of the Gandhi family such as Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who is yet to contest an election, would be exempted as she has been working since early 2019.

In-house survey mechanism

The other major organisational reforms being considered include establishing mandal committees between booth and block level in the organisation, fixing the maximum of five years’ tenure for party positions with a cooling off period of three years, setting up of a ‘public insight department’ for creating an in-house survey mechanism and an assessment wing to gauge the performance of office-bearers.

The party is also proposing to promise making minimum support price (MSP) to farmers a legal guarantee and tap jobless youth by discussing on making the right to job a legal right.

Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said the party would discuss alliance issues after strengthening its own organisation and unifying its cadres as no partner would come if you did not have any investment.

He said the party would decide on alliances with those parties that subscribed to its ideology and were concerned over the “attack” on democracy and the Constitution and want to save them.

“This is a fight between Indian nationalists v/s pseudo nationalists. Those who stand with the principles of the Indian National Congress represent the Indian way of life and thought that have sustained this civilisation for 3,000 years,” Mr. Kharge said.

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