"We will overcome, we will overcome, we will overcome - that is our determination, that's our Sankalp," Congress working president Sonia Gandhi today said to a cheering audience at the Congress strategy meeting (Chintan Shivir) in Rajasthan's Udaipur. Ending her short address to party members on a personal note, Ms Gandhi said she felt like she had spent an evening with her family during the last day of the grand old party's brainstorming session when she got the opportunity to meet them. "We will undoubtedly leave re-energised with a refreshed spirit of collective purpose," she said.
Ms Gandhi announced a national Kashmir to Kanyakumari "Bharat Jodo yatra (Unite India march)" beginning on Gandhi Jayanti (October 2) this year. "All of us will participate in it. The Yatra is to strengthen the bonds of social harmony that are under stress, to preserve the foundational values of our Constitution that are under assault and to highlight the day-to-day concerns of crores of our people," she said.
She also announced that phase-2 of the district-level Jan Jagran Abhiyan which had been launched earlier will resume a month later on June 15. "This extensive campaign will highlight economic issues, especially the growing unemployment and intolerable price rise that is destroying livelihoods," she said.
On the outcome of the three-day conclave, she said detailed recommendations of the organisation will be worked on expeditiously. Suggestions from participants made "in a spirit of constructive participation" will inform party positions, policies and programmes, she said.
"They will also be of value to prepare manifestos for state and national elections. I want to make a special mention of the report of the organizational group since it is the most immediately relevant. Some of its ideas have formed part of the Udaipur NavSankalp Declaration that has just been adopted. I assure you that the detailed recommendations of the group will be acted upon expeditiously," she added.
Ms Gandhi announced the setting up of a "compact Task Force" to drive the process of internal reforms "that are essential and that have been discussed in different groups here at Udaipur". She said these reforms with a focus on the 2024 Lok Sabha polls will cover all aspects of the organisation including structure, rules for appointments to party posts, communications and publicity, outreach, finances and election management. The composition of the Task Force will be notified in the next two-three days.
"I have also decided to have an advisory group drawn from the CWC (Congress Working Committee) that would meet regularly under my chairpersonship to discuss and deliberate upon political issues and challenges before our party. Of course, we do have the CWC that meets from time to time and that will continue," Ms Gandhi said.
She, however, said the new group is not a collective decision-making body but will help her get the benefit of the vast experience of senior colleagues.
The Congress on Sunday adopted a 'Nav Sankalp' -- a road map for wide-ranging reforms in the party organisation to make it battle-ready for the next round of assembly and Lok Sabha polls.