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Home > India > News > PTI

Sonia wants Congress to get in poll mode

June 28, 2008 17:47 IST

The Congress on Saturday decided to plunge into election mode, with party chief Sonia Gandhi [Images] directing senior leaders to draw up time-bound programmes and strategies to re-energise the party in all states.

At a meeting of party general secretaries and incharges of states, Gandhi assigned tasks to them to organise the party 'everywhere', at all levels for five assemblies and the next Lok Sabha elections.

"This meeting was about poll preparations. The Lok Sabha elections were also discussed, the party has to get ready for polls and everybody has been asked to draw up programmes and submit the same at the next meeting," said All India Congress Committee General Secretary Janardan Dwivedi.

Gandhi also reviewed the progress of programmes assigned to the senior leaders by the party for implementation.

Interestingly, the issue of the India-United States nuclear agreement, which has taken the United Progressive Alliance-Left ties to the brink of a breakup, did not figure in the hour-long discussions Gandhi had with the top party functionaries.

"The issue has already been discussed at two working committee meetings," a senior leader said, indicating that no further discussion was required at the party level on the
nuclear deal.

Though the UPA constituents strongly favour the nuclear deal, they hold almost equally strident views against holding of early elections.

A section of the party leadership also feels that nuclear deal is not an issue to fight elections.

The Congress president has given partymen a time-table for building the party at all levels, Veerappa Moily, Chairman of the AICC Media Cell, said.

"No discussion was held on this issue. Let a clearer picture emerge," Dwivedi said when asked whether the leaders discussed going to polls on the nuclear deal issue.

Asked whether the party feels that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images], facing fierce criticism from the Left, was taking the country in the right direction, he said, "the Prime
Minister is running the government in a way the Congress party expects him to do".

Dwivedi sought to brush aside suggestions that the party was preparing for early Lok Sabha elections.

"UPA has completed four years in power. In the final year, every party gets ready for elections," he said.

"We have set the time table so that party at all levels are well equipped, capacity is built up so that party is activised and workers are activised to establish connectivity with the electorate," Moily said.

Most of the leaders who attended the meeting were in favour of holding the 'chintan shivir' of the party before the end of July.

Moily said the Congress president reviewed the tasks given to senior party leaders about holding rallies in the Scheduled Tribe dominated districts, to communicate the benefits of the legislations passed by the UPA government, for their benefit.

Gandhi also asked the partymen to hold rallies at district and state levels to create awareness about the farm loan waiver scheme and urge farmers to avail its benefits.




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