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Cong may hold its plenary session in Maharashtra

By Renu Mittal
September 07, 2010 22:59 IST
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The Congress is likely to hold its plenary session in Mumbai or in some other part of Maharashtra in December, indicate highly placed congress sources.

The Congress Working Committee elections are to be held during the plenary with the leadership yet to take a final call on whether it will be actual elections or nominations through consensus. "Consensus is also election" said a top All India Congress Committee functionary.

Since Sonia Gandhi has taken over the helm of the party, elections to the Congress Working Committee have been done away with and a total nomination culture has been the hallmark of her functioning. The party constitution allows half the CWC members to be elected and the rest to be nominated by the Congress president. All the general secretaries have to be members of the CWC -- elected or nominated.

But sources say the fact that once again the organizational elections of the party which are in the process of being completed were done through consensus meant that elections were not held at any level in the party. Keeping such a scenario in mind, it would be surprising if the Congress does indeed decide to go in for elections of the CWC.

Since the AICC office-bearers are not elected, but nominated by the Congress president, according to the party constitution, the process of "reconstitution" of the AICC need not be linked to the plenary, said party sources. This reconstitution would be done in tandem with the Cabinet reshuffle which has been indicated by the prime minister. Meanwhile, party sources endorsed the viewpoint that the effort would be to reduce the age of the Cabinet and bring in younger ministers as happened last time when leaders like Jyotiraditya Scindia and others were brought in.

Sources said effort would be to bring in one-man-one-post, with the possible exception of Mukul Wasnik who is in-charge of Bihar and since elections have already been announced in the state. A union minister, he is likely to continue to be in charge.

It is learnt that the exercise for both the Cabinet and the AICC reconstitution has begun with the track-record of both ministers and party functionaries coming under intense scrutiny though sources admit that there are big differences between the perceptions of the prime minister and the Congress president with both batting for different people.

Andhra Pradesh worries Congress

The setback the party received in the Telangana byelections has made the Congress leadership sit up and are worried of the backlash which may take place if action is initiated against YS Rajashekhar Reddy's young son.

In a change of strategy, the party has decided to play "patient" with the young Jagan Reddy. Highly placed party sources said that they "would not like to either harm or hurt him and that is why we have decided to be patient". Sources said it is a fact that Jagan has not been behaving normally, that the death of his father has been an emotional issue for him as well as a big loss.

According to the party assessment, he has been "misguided" by certain elements to conduct the yatra individually even though the party had offered to have it on the party's platform. But he was told that it would enhance his image and make him into a big leader with the young MP being misguided, said a seni or leader.

The Congress is obviously playing safe and would not like to upset the applecart since even if Jagan does not gain anything, he can end up damaging the party.  

Trouble in Jharkhand

Sources say that the Congress leadership is also worried about the developments in Jharkhand with the Congress core committee meeting this morning to take stock of the situation after the Bharatiya Janata Party-Jharkhand Mukthi Morcha decided to stake claim to form the government.

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Renu Mittal in New Delhi
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