The cooler climes of Nainital are expected to become hot for some Union Ministers and Chief Ministers when a Congress conclave gets underway in Nainital on Saturday to focus on the agrarian crisis which saw a spate of farmers' suicides in at least four states.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi would be presiding over the two-day meet with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh by her side which would also dwell on internal security in the backdrop of recent terror attacks and the Naxalite problem.
The conclave, which is expected to be attended by 14 party chief ministers and some Union ministers, is being held when two of the Congress-ruled states—Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh—have been shaken by farmers' suicides in the last few years.
The deliberations could witness veiled attacks on NCP supremo and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar over the issue of suicides as also on the wheat import row.
Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Home Minister Shivraj Patil, Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh could face criticism from a section in the party unhappy over the their performance as regards ameliorating the lot of farmers as also on the law and order issue.
This is the second conclave after Congress came to power at the Centre and is being held at a time when the Manmohan Singh government has almost completed half its term and assembly elections in four states, including in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, are round the corner.