A ‘one family, one ticket’ rule, restrictions on successive tenures for office-bearers, a 50 under 50 rule to ensure that half of the party’s posts are given to people under 50, and an in-house survey mechanism are among the major organisational changes that the Congress is planning to implement following the three-day Nav Sankalp chintan shivir, which began on Friday.
Setting the tone for change, party president Sonia Gandhi stated at the conclave’s first session that the party was in desperate need of a change in its operating style. The ‘One family, one ticket’ approach, on the other hand, will come with a catch: it will seek to exclude another family member who has been doing ‘exemplary work’.
“The Shivir debates will establish the groundwork for a substantial organizational change. The ‘One family, one ticket’ guideline has been considered and will be explored further. ‘There is near-consensus on this approach, and an exception will be granted only if the second ticket applicant has been in the party for five years, performing exceptional work,’ Ajay Maken, a member of the panel examining organizational overhaul, told reporters.
This practically means that members of the Gandhi family, such as Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who has yet to run for office, will be excluded because she has been working since early 2019. Different figures demanded the restoration of Rahul Gandhi as Congress chairman in closed-door meetings.
Structural survey mechanism
Other major organizational reforms being considered include establishing mandal committees between booth and block levels in the organization, limiting party positions to five years with a three-year cooling off period, establishing a ‘public insight department’ to create an in-house survey mechanism, and establishing an assessment wing to gauge the performance of office-bearers.
The party is also proposing to make the minimum support price (MSP) for farmers a legal guarantee, as well as to reach out to jobless young by debating making the right to work a legal right. Mallikarjun Kharge, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, stated that the party would explore alliance matters after strengthening and uniting its own organization and cadres since no partner would come if you did not have any investment.
He stated that the party would form coalitions with parties that shared its philosophy, were worried about the ‘assault’ on democracy and the Constitution and wished to protect them. ‘This is a battle between genuine Indian nationalists and phoney nationalists. Those who support the ideas of the Indian National Congress reflect the Indian way of life and philosophy that has preserved our civilization for the past 3,000 years,’ Mr. Kharge stated.