Stung Cong won’t hold plenary session in city | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Stung Cong won’t hold plenary session in city

The Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society controversy has forced the All India Congress Committee (AICC) to deny the party’s city unit the chance to host the plenary session in December. The decision was taken at the AICC’s day-long convention in New Delhi on Tuesday.

mumbai Updated: Nov 03, 2010 01:09 IST
Dharmendra Jore

The Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society controversy has forced the All India Congress Committee (AICC) to deny the party’s city unit the chance to host the plenary session in December. The decision was taken at the AICC’s day-long convention in New Delhi on Tuesday.

The session will now be held in New Delhi from December 18 to 20. It will mark the end of the 125th year of India’s oldest political party.

The plenary is a session open to all members of the party.

The party’s state and Mumbai units had demanded that they be allowed to host the event because the Congress was launched here in 1885. Mumbai had also hosted the party’s centenary session in 1985.

The party’s high command had agreed in principle to have this year’s session in Mumbai and to announce it on Tuesday. But the embarrassment caused by the Adarsh controversy made party chief Sonia Gandhi change her mind.

Senior Congress leaders told Hindustan Times on condition of anonymity, as they are not authorised to speak to the media, that Gandhi did not want to be embarrassed further by having the session in Mumbai.

The AICC decision sent a ripple of despair through the city unit, which had already begun preparations by identifying potential venues and accommodation facilities for the thousands of delegates and leaders who would attend the session.

“I’m very upset. I was looking forward to meeting the senior leaders,” said a leader requesting anonymity.

The Adarsh controversy isn’t the only cause of embarrassment for the Congress. A fortnight ago, state Congress president Manikrao Thakre was shown on TV saying ministers had contributed Rs 10 lakh each for Gandhi’s Sewagram rally. He said Chief minister Ashok Chavan was not willing to pay Rs 2 crore for transportation expenses. After the Adarsh controversy broke, senior leaders sparred openly.

“The AICC felt that the warring leaders would not be able to put on a show together,” said a senior AICC member.

The New Delhi event will be the third such conference since Gandhi took over as party chief in 1998. Earlier plenaries were held in Bangalore (2001) and in Hyderabad (2006).