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Corruption to figure in Congress plenary

The Congress plenary is supposed to lay down the party’s roadmap for the immediate future. But coming in the backdrop of various scandals the focus of the party’s 83rd plenary beginning tomorrow will essentially be on how the Congress aggressively counters the opposition charges on corruption. Saroj Nagi & Aurangzeb Naqshbandi report.

delhi Updated: Dec 18, 2010 10:26 IST

The Congress plenary is supposed to lay down the party’s roadmap for the immediate future. But coming in the backdrop of scandals relating to 2G-spectrum, Commonwealth games, Adarsh housing society, the Radia tapes — and now the WikiLeaks — the focus of the party’s 83rd plenary beginning Sunday will essentially be on how the Congress aggressively counters the opposition charges on corruption.

As Congress president Sonia Gandhi seeks to re-energise her workers, she will set the tone by talking tough on the BJP and corruption in her opening address. PM Manmohan Singh will carry it forward the following day. General secretary Rahul Gandhi, seen as the party’s prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, will be among the key speakers at the conclave of over 10,000 delegates at Burari on Delhi’s outskirts.

Facing possibly one of the toughest times in its 125 year history, the Congress will give shape to its strategy to tackle these controversies besides deliberating on crucial issues facing the country.

The plenary will deal with issues like terrorism, communalism, Kashmir and the overall political situation in its political resolution. There will be separate resolutions on the economic and international situation and 125 years of the Congress. The draft resolutions will be cleared by the Subjects committee on Saturday.

After one of its worst electoral defeats in Bihar, Gandhi will spell out the party’s strategy for next year’s assembly elections in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Assam and Puducherry. In the first three states, in particular, the Congress is dependent on allies like the Trinamool Congress and the DMK, now grappling with spectrum controversy. The party will skirt controversial issues such as Telangana, say sources.

An important challenge for Gandhi — who opted for coalitions at the Centre — would be to strengthen the party’s social and organisational base, including in UP where assembly polls are due in 2012.

However, the party’s structure is yet to be finalised. The Congress Working Committee that was to be formed before the plenary is now expected early next year. Likewise, there are states where the party chiefs have yet to be appointed.

Leader’s mandate

Congress president Sonia Gandhi, in a bid to re-energise her workers, will attack the BJP and take a strong stand against corruption in her opening address.

The plenary will also deal with issues like terrorism, communalism, Kashmir and the overall situation in its political resolution.