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New Congress roadmap likely at CWC meet on June 4

May 29, 2012 14:43 IST
With the party and the government battling a number of crises on political and economic fronts, Congress President Sonia Gandhi is likely to flag concerns of the organisation and lay out a roadmap for theĀ future at a meeting of Congress Working Committee on June 4.

Party sources said that although no fixed agenda has been prepared for the meeting of the extended CWC, the current "political and economic" issues will dominate the meeting of the apex decision-making body of Congress.

PCC chiefs and Congress legislature party leaders of states will also be participating in the meeting along with the regular CWC members and the permanent and special invitees to the committee.

This will be the first formal meeting of the CWC on issues dogging the party after the reconstitution of the committee in March last year.

The reconstitution of the CWC had seen over a third of the earlier members, including the permanent and special invitees to the CWC, being dropped and replacement of three of the nine general secretaries and half the secretaries.

The first emergency meeting of the CWC called immediately after its reconstitution was in fact merely a condolence meeting to pay homage to the veteran Congressman and former Union minister and governor Arjun Singh.

The second meeting of the CWC was called to pay homage to the then Arunachal Chief Minister Dorje Khandu, who had died in an air crash in May last year.

The last meeting to discuss any political issue had taken place in October 2010 to discuss the party's strategy on the Allahabad high court verdict on the Ayodhya title suit case on September 30 that year.

This will be the first meeting of the CWC after the party's debacle in assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Goa, which could lead to a churning in the party.

A high-level committee of Congress chaired by Defence Minster AK Antony had recently submitted a detailed report to the Congress president in this regard and a slew of measures are now expected to strengthen the organisation in the light of the committee's recommendations, the sources said.

The CWC meeting is expected to discuss at length the challenge posing the organisation in various states and also formulate the party strategy for the upcoming assembly polls.

In her first address to the Congress Parliamentary Party on May 9 after the electoral setbacks in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Goa, Gandhi had said unity and discipline were key to success in future electoral battles.

"We must shed all manner of factional behaviour and fight as one disciplined team at all levels. That will be the single-most important factor to decide whether we win or lose.

People look to us but we need to show them our commitment and unity if we are to convert this sentiment into electoral victories," Gandhi had said.

With a series of state elections approaching, she had said the partymen "must draw upon lessons of the previous polls".

While Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh are scheduled to have assembly elections this year end, polls are due in Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan next year. The Congress also lost in the civic bodies' polls in Himachal Pradesh, whose results were announced on Monday.

The CWC meeting also happens to take place within a fortnight of the Bharatiya Janata Party's national executive in Mumbai that gave indications of its keenness to broaden the ambit of the National Democratic Alliance and has virtually extended an invitation to United Progressive Alliance partner Trinamool Congress to come back to the NDA fold.

The CWC meeting will come just few days after the opposition's Bharat Bandh call on the issue of petrol price hike, which has evoked strong criticism from UPA allies the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and Mamata Banerjee's party.

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