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Cong's 3-point plan: Project Rahul, soft budget, early LS poll

November 02, 2012 12:09 IST
The Congress party has devised a three-point action plan to approach its November 4 rally in New Delhi and the November 9 'free interaction' session in Surajkund, Haryana: Project Rahul Gandhi; give a popular (read populist) budget; plan for an early Lok Sabha poll, in 2013 itself.

At its Surajkund conclave, among other things the party is also expected to decide whether to go it alone in Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra.

For Sonia Gandhi, the attack on son-in-law Robert Vadra, coupled with the affectionate 'free me from PMO' pleas of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, have added to the strains on her, leading her to believe that an early Lok Sabha poll is the solution to the crises-ridden United Progressive Alliance government, a close confidant of the Gandhi family told on condition of anonymity.

However, the Congress does have an advantage. The Bharatiya Janata Party is a house divided.

Top Congress leaders too want to finalise the 'go it alone plan' propounded by general secretary Rahul Gandhi. That would leave no room for alliance with the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam in Tamil Nadu and the Nationalist Congress Party in Maharashtra. 

Congress presidents of the Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra units have sought special time to speak to their alliance partners (DMK and NCP) in their states.

"Therefore, political stocktaking will be carried out with an open mind," says a senior leader of the All India Congress Committee.

New Delhi is agog with speculation that the Congress is proceeding apace with plans for a massive publicity blitz to avoid taking the blame for adverse election results from Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, and also a possible washout of the winter session of Parliament.

The Congress party faces another advantage if early Lok Sabha polls are held -- because in 2013, eight states face elections to their assemblies: Karnataka in June, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Delhi in December, and some north-eastern states, where anti-Congress feeling among voters is high.

A Correspondent in New Delhi