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|November 28, 1998||
CWC meeting tomorrow to decide post-poll moves
The Congress Working Committee will meet in New Delhi on Sunday evening to plan its post-election strategy, including its attitude towards the seven-month-old coalition government headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
The Congress today described the favourable trends secured by its candidates in the assembly election in Delhi and three states as a positive vote for the party.
Disputing the contention that the anti-incumbency factor had contributed to the rout of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Congress spokesperson Ambika Soni said the vote was against the BJP and in favour of the pro-poor, pro-backward, pro-dalit policies of the Congress led by Sonia Gandhi.
Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee president Shiela Dikshit echoed this view, saying "the voters have voted positively for the Congress".
Dikshit said the newly elected party legislators would choose their leader after the results in all assembly segments were declared.
''Certainly not, the MLAs will decide,'' she said when asked if she could be described as the next chief minister of Delhi.
Dikshit, who defeated the BJP's Kirti Azad by more than 5,000 votes in Gole Market, said the party's handsome showing in the election could be attributed to Sonia Gandhi's leadership.
"The Congress has emerged as a fresh and determined party," she said.
She said the Congress try to provide a good administration and make every effort to control the runaway prices, especially those of essential commodities. "I hope I can live up to the expectations of the people," she said.
Other Congress politicians, too, were happy with the initial results in Delhi and Rajasthan and called it "a positive vote in the Congress's favour".
General secretary Oscar Fernandes said that the people had reposed faith in the party's able leadership.
He hoped the party would do better in Madhya Pradesh also, though exit polls had indicated otherwise.
Another general secretary, R K Dhawan, promised that the party would implement its manifesto in full.
Pointing out that the party had given more tickets to women in Delhi than any other party, he noted happily that the first three winners were Congresswomen: Diksit, Tajdar Babbar, and Kiran Choudhary.
Soni reiterated the party's stand that it would not destabilise the Vajpayee government but would keep its options open on a no-confidence motion moved by any other party.
The party's strategy in this regard will be determined by the CWC tomorrow.
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