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HindustanTimes Mon,21 Apr 2014

Sonia convenes meeting of core group to discuss stir

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, December 25, 2012
First Published: 21:14 IST(25/12/2012) | Last Updated: 01:00 IST(26/12/2012)

In an unusual move, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday evening convened the party's core group to assess the government and police handling of the protests over the past week in Delhi.

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The steps needed to be taken to contain the political fall-out of protests were also on the group's agenda.

It is rare for Gandhi to hold meetings on Christmas, a day that she has consistently managed to keep aside for her family in recent years.

In view of the police crackdown on protesters demanding justice for the gangrape victim, there has been a strong view in sections of the Congress that the police, and the government, could have handled the situation better.

The group is understood to have discussed the government's response to the opposition moves focused around convening a special session of Parliament or an all-party meeting.

The dominant view within the government - articulated by home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde in public - has been to reject such proposals.

Sources said the party was keen to send a clear signal to the police brass to deal with the protests with "sensitivity" without leaving any room for miscreants to exploit the situation.

A powerful section in the party is also reluctant to make the police commissioner a scapegoat and worried that such an action would encourage street protests in future.

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