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CWC resolves to go in for tie-ups

Tara Shankar Sahay in New Delhi | January 07, 2004 19:08 IST

The Congress Working Committee on Wednesday resolved to go in for widespread electoral alliances, including at the constituency level.

"We have started the process of talking to parties, not with the Bharatiya Janata Party but with likeminded parties," Congress president Sonia Gandhi said after the meeting in New Delhi.

She indicated that she was talking to Nationalist Congress Party leader Sharad Pawar.

Asked whether her party was encountering any difficulty in this context, she said, "There are always difficulties in life. Aren't they there in your life?

"We are all ready to face the difficulties."

CWC member Pranab Mukherjee said that a single overarching election management committee would be set up under Gandhi's chairmanship.

He said Gandhi had asked party leader Dr Manmohan Singh to hold discussions for an alliance with the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.

He said the party had decided to depute experienced leaders to states to help local units in the Lok Sabha election.

Each Congress leader will be entrusted either with one big state or two to three small states.

He said assessment and stocktaking by party observers for all the Lok Sabha constituencies would be completed by the end of January and the process for the selection of party candidates would commence after the receipt of the report of the observers.

He also pointed out that professional assistance would be obtained for electoral surveys and publicity material.

Mukherjee contended that a special team was being constituted to prepare a detailed report on the National Democratic Alliance government's failures.

Another important aspect was the CWC's realisation that it was imperative to involve elected and 'Congress-friendly' members of panchayats and nagarpalikas in the election campaign, he added.

Asked what was new in the CWC's strategy, Mukherjee said, "We earlier did not talk of coalition. Now we are going in for alliances, that is new."

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