Congress initiates process of Govt formation
Sonia has deputed leaders for talks with like-minded parties to evolve a common minimum programme.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Thursday announced that the party is open to working with like-minded parties to form the next Government.
Sonia deputed teams of senior leaders for talks with like-minded parties and setting in motion the exercise of evolving a common minimum programme.
Addressing a press conference, Sonia said Congress will hold discussions with all those parties "who have worked with us".
Replying to a question, she said leader of the Congress in the Parliament will be decided by all elected members of the party.
Asked if she will go to the President on Friday to stake a claim to form the next Government, the Congress relied: "wait and watch".
Sonia said the Congress supported the Vajpayee Government's peace initiatives with Pakistan and said the Congress had all along been asking for a peace dialogue.
As the election results and trends went in favour of Congress and its allies, Sonia herself got in touch with several leaders of alliance partners initiating in right earnest the task of Government formation, party General Secretary Ambika Soni said.
A significant development was BSP supremo Mayawati ringing up Gandhi in the backdrop of the party's assertion that it was not averse to extending support to a Congress-led front even if it has Samajwadi Party as one of its constituents.
"Attention is being focussed on putting in place a secular Government," Soni said, adding a meeting of the Congress Parliamentary Party is being held on Friday evening to elect its leader.
The Congress Working Committee (CWC) met in New Delhi on Thursday night to deliberate on the issue of Government formation with the party emerging as the single largest in the Lok Sabha elections.
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