One fallout of the Left’s pullout is that the Congress’s plan to hold a chintan shivir (brainstorming session) has now been shelved. Instead, a small group perhaps the Congress Working Committee would deliberate on the issues that the party needs to tackle after the vote of confidence.
On Friday, the top Congress leadership closed ranks over the nuclear deal. And though many at the CWC and earlier at the UPA coordination committee appreciated the Left’s support to the UPA for over four years, at least two prominent members hit out at the communists while another leader took a swipe at the Samajwadi Party.
At the meeting, sources said, Dr Karan Singh and Saifuddin Soz criticised the Left. The former called them “unreliable’’ and the latter, a member of the UPA-Left panel, dubbed Prakash Karat “unreasonable” but appreciated the roles played earlier by H.S. Surjeet and Sitaram Yechury now.
Immediately after Congress president Sonia Gandhi opened the proceedings, Janardhan Dwivedi used the floor to emphasise that alliances with rivals first with the Left and now with the SP costs the party heavy. “How can we take them head on? How do we meet this political challenge?’’ he asked.
His contention that there were so many other issues that the party needed to discuss was also echoed by Digvijay Singh and Ajit Jogi who maintained that the deal would not be an election issue. The party, instead, has to focus on inflation and the Amarnath shrine board controversy. At this juncture, Sonia wanted to know if a brainstorming session or a CWC should be held for the purpose. Since elections were round the corner, most members favoured a CWC.
In this context, Mohsina Kidwai referred to the efforts of the Left and the BSP to communalise the nuclear deal. Pranab Mukherjee explained that the government needed to go for a trust vote, even it is not necessary, to quell criticism.