New Delhi: In an apparent move to send out a message of austerity, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi on Friday took a bus ride along with other leaders to Surajkund in Haryana where the party is having a brain storming meeting. However, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will not go to Surajkund by bus due to security reasons.
Union ministers and top Congress leaders will attend the brainstorming session which comes at a time when the party and the government are facing tough challenges on political and economic fronts. The day-long "dialogue session" is likely to chalk out the strategy ahead. It may also take a view on the issue of alliances in different states.
The Congress has utilised bus rides by local leaders to project a picture of unity and to connect with the common man during state elections in past. Party sources said that the dialogue meeting (Samvad Baithak) will virtually set the agenda for the larger brainstorming at Chintan Shivir, which is likely to be organised in January next year.
The dialogue session comes after the public meeting in New Delhi on November 4, which saw Sonia and Rahul strongly backing the economic reform measures initiated by the Prime Minister. The session will discuss three topics - present political situation, economic challenges and status of implementation of 2009 party manifesto.