HindustanTimes Mon,29 Dec 2014

Manmohan finds place in Congress' strategy panel

Saubhadra Chatterji, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, June 26, 2014
First Published: 00:38 IST(26/6/2014) | Last Updated: 00:41 IST(26/6/2014)

There will be more of Manmohan Singh in the coming days. The Congress has roped in the former PM as a part of its newly-formed parliamentary strategy group. The informal body, headed by Congress president Sonia Gandhi, will decide the party's stand on government's bills and coordinate with other opposition parties.

The formation of this group shows that former parliamentary affairs minister Kamal Nath may continue to stay in the sidelines.

As Congress struggles to remain relevant in Parliament amid BJP's record majority and non-cooperative mood of other opposition bigwigs, the challenge before this panel is huge. "The Congress core group which discussed policy issues during the UPA is defunct. This group will strategise on the Congress' role in the opposition space of Parliament," said a senior  party leader.

Apart from Sonia and Singh, the panel has party deputy Rahul Gandhi, Congress leaders in the two Houses-Mallikarjun  Kharge, Ghulam Nabi Azad, their deputies, Lok Sabha chief whip Jyotiraditya Scindia, and Congress president's political secretary Ahmed Patel.

The surprise inclusion in this strategy group is former minister Jairam Ramesh-dubbed as "Jack of all trades" by a key party strategist.

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