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CWC to take stock of present scenario, chalk out strategy

delhi Updated: Sep 24, 2012 16:43 IST
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With Mamata Banerjee walking out of UPA and the government facing opposition heat on economic reforms, Congress top brass will meet on Tuesday to take stock of the "present situation" and chalk out the strategy ahead.

A meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) chaired by Congress President Sonia Gandhi is expected to discuss on Tuesday morning the evolving political situation in the wake of Trinamool Congress severing ties with UPA and the government's determination to push ahead with reforms.

The meeting also comes at a time when there is a clear realisation in Congress that the vexed issue of Telangana cannot be kept hanging for long. Indications have been given that a decision on the issue will be taken shortly.

A couple of days back, Andhra Pradesh Governor ESL Narasimhan had a meeting with Gandhi, home minister Sushilkumar Shinde and finance minister P Chidambaram, fuelling speculation that a decision may be on the cards. TRS chief K Chandrasekhara Rao is camping in the national capital for a meeting with Gandhi.

The CWC meeting takes place in the backdrop of clear indications that Rahul Gandhi is going to assume a "larger role" in party affairs very soon.

The occassion could be utilised by the party to rally behind the Prime Minister, who is being targeted by opposition parties on a host of issues including FDI in multi-brand retail.

The timing of the meeting is crucial as it comes close on the heels of the opposition parties holding a nationwide bandh to oppose the government's decision on allowing 51% FDI in multi-brand retail, hiking prices of diesel and putting a cap on supply of subsidised LPG cylinders to households.

The meeting is also signficant as it is being held ahead of the crucial assembly elections in three states including Narendra Modi-run Gujarat.

AICC general secretary Janardan Dwivedi, however, refused to specify what are issues that will be discussed in Wednesday's meeting.

"It will discuss the present situation" was his only refrain when asked about the issues that are expected to come up for deliberations in CWC.

Despite the 19-member Trinamool Congress walking out of UPA, Congress is not worried over the numbers as both Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party have continued to back the government.

Opposition NDA has also said that it is not pushing for the ouster of the government, maintaining that it will not take steps in that direction as it may fall due to its internal contradictions.

However, the worry for the government is that some of its allies do not agree with recent decisions. DMK had joined the nationwide bandh on September 20 against the government's decisions.

Even within Congress, there have been voices of disagreement.

While a special invitee to CWC Anil Shastri has openly opposed the decisions saying they have damaged the party, some leaders speaking on the condition of anonymity said that the government could have moved a bit more cautiously on the measures.

The meeting will be attended by permanent members of CWC as well as its permanent invitees.