Seeking to project a united picture of the ruling alliance, the UPA coordination committee headed by Congress president Sonia Gandhi [ Images ] will hold its first meeting on Wednesday.
The constitution of the coordination committee was announced on Monday to ensure cohesive functioning of the alliance, a demand that was placed by ally Nationalist Congress Party during its recent stand-off with Congress a fortnight back.
Leaders of all the constituent parties are part of this mechanism. Union Ministers Sharad Pawar [ Images ] and Praful Patel [ Images ] will represent the NCP on the panel, while there is still no word on who will represent Trinamool Congress [ Images ] and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam [ Images ]
While Gandhi heads the committee, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [ Images ], Defence Minister A K Antony, Finance Minister P Chidambaram [ Images ] and Home Minister Sushil Kumar [ Images ] Shinde are the other members from Congress.
This is for the first time in eight years of the UPA government that a coordination committee of alliance partners has been formed. During UPA-I, there was only a coordination committee between Congress and Left parties.
The formation of the coordination committee came a fortnight after NCP leaders Pawar and Patel threatened to pull out of the government.
Yielding to NCP's demand, Congress had on July 24 agreed to put in place such a coordination mechanism after Pawar and Patel met the Prime Minister and Gandhi and discussed the week-long stand-off when the two leaders had also offered to quit the Cabinet.
A statement issued by the two parties had later said, "This mechanism would ensure that the UPA allies meet at least once a month to discuss policy and other issues".
Among other allies Union Minister Ajit Singh represents his party Rashtriya Lok alD on the panel which also comprises E Ahmed of the Indian Union Muslim League and Farooq Abdullah [ Images ] of the National Conference.