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CWC meet to dwell on challenges from Left, BJP

January 28, 2009 19:04 IST

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With the Lok Sabha polls drawing near, the Congress Working Committee meeting in New Delhi [Images] on Thursday is expected to finalise the strategy to take on the challenges from the Left and the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Going to the Parliamentary polls for the first time after sharing power at the Centre, the Congress is likely to give finishing touches to its poll manifesto as also decide on the campaign theme.

The meeting to be presided over by party chief Sonia Gandhi [Images]. The party expects the dates for the Lok Sabha elections to be announced by March and the CWC will take stock of the poll preparedness of the party for the gruelling election months ahead, they said.

The coming elections will witness a three-corner contest between the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance, BJP-led National Democratic Alliance and the Left parties, which are trying to form a third alternative along with several regional parties.

Gandhi, who is also the UPA chairperson, has already declared that the Congress would fight the elections as part of the coalition.

She had given clear indications that the UPA would go to the polls projecting Manmohan Singh [Images] as its prime ministerial candidate.

The CWC is also likely to discuss the claims of various UPA allies like the Samajwadi Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal and Nationalist Congress Party for seat-sharing in states like Uttar Pradesh [Images], Bihar and Maharashtra respectively.

The four states --- UP, Bihar, Maharashtra and West Bengal -- together will send 212 members to the Lok Sabha and it is crucial for the party to perform well in these states along with their allies, to retain power at the Centre.

The other states, where the party hopes to enter into an alliance with regional parties are Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand and Jammu and Kashmir [Images], among others. The seat-sharing formula in these states is also likely to figure in the CWC discussions.

With youth being the flavour of the political season, the focus would be on key leaders, including Rahul Gandhi [Images], in the advertisement campaign to be launched by the party soon for the polls. Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh would be the two other stars in the ad blitzkrieg.

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