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Congress set to sound the election bugle

Last updated on: November 2, 2012 01:54 IST

Congress set to sound the election bugle

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Renu Mittal

The Congress has decided to sound the election bugle, even as the government looks to be skating on thin ice, bombarded as it is by scams and more scams, writes Renu Mittal

Is the Congress seriously worried there may be an early election? For the party is set to undertake some quick stock taking and brain storming to plug the gaps between its promises and their implementation.

It would seem so, judging by the leadership calling a one-day 'Samvad Baithak' on November 9 in Surajkund to be attended by senior congress leaders including CWC members, AICC state in charges, cabinet ministers and ministers of state independent charge.

The party has called it an informal meeting, meaning there would be no resolutions passed at the end of it, but it has shortlisted three issues on which the assembled leaders, including the prime minister and Sonia Gandhi, would hold discussions and deliberations.

The issues are present political situation, economic challenges and discussion on manifesto implementation.

The party is worried about the continued attacks on the government, its ministers and even party leaders over corruption charges and the scams and scandals that are continuously being unearthed.

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It is also worried about the big issue of price rise, which has hit the common man and eroded a great part of the popularity of the UPA government, and the need to assess how much of the Congress manifesto has been implemented, which are the areas remaining unfulfilled and a virtual report card from the concerned ministers wherever possible on how far they have gone in ensuring implementation of promises made.

Sources say that the leadership also wants the party general secretaries to give their assessments on the party's standing in various states, what are the key issues which need to be addressed and what measures the party and government can take in restoring the confidence of the people in this regard.

It has been clearly pointed out that this round of deliberations would specifically focus on the assessment of the central leadership on current issues and state leaders including chief ministers have been left out of this exercise. So much so that even the host chief minister, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, has not been called.

So far it is not clear whether the current team of office bearers in the AICC would attend the Samvad Baithak or whether there would be a reshuffle of the AICC by then.

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Logic says that if the party is looking at formulating the road map ahead, it should bring in the new team but there are others who say that the leadership would like to hear the assessment of the current general secretaries who have been working in the states.

A senior leader called it a "test" and said that many of the sitting office bearers may fail in giving convincing arguments on what has been happening in their states.

Before the Samvand Baithak, the Congress has convened a big rally at Ramlila grounds in New Delhi on November 4 where the subject is again the present political situation where the invitees are congress chief ministers, PCC presidents, CLP leaders, block presidents and zila presidents from all over the country, AICC members, MPs, MLAs, frontal organization office bearers from the states and the Centre.

Apart from others Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi are expected to address the meeting.

It is expected that the large gathering, particularly block presidents are expected to make a big clamour for the elevation of Rahul to a senior position in the party even though the Congress spokesman has already stated that he is the undisputed number two in the party.

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The elevation of Rahul is on the cards and is expected any time soon, say senior party leaders. They also say that unlike in the past, the current reshuffle of the AICC is expected to bear the stamp and authority of Rahul to an extent.

The reshuffle would be done keeping in mind the coming elections both to state assemblies and to Parliament and would be a way for the Congress to set its house in order before party leaders get down to the serious business of preparing the party for polls.

The November 4 rally, which will be used to spit fire and abuse at both the BJP and the likes of Kejriwal and his team, is being organised to tone up the party's mood and morale and send a message of confidence with the central leadership listing its achievements in both the social sector programmes and in bringing in FDI in retail and at the same time hitting out against its detractors for misleading the people.

The Congress has decided to sound the election bugle, even as the government looks to be skating on thin ice, bombarded as it is by scams and more scams.



Tags: Congress , AICC , BJP , Kejriwal , FDI

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