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Congress meet to discuss quota, UPA performance

The party is meeting on Saturday evening to chalk out a strategy over the controversial reservation proposal.

india Updated: May 20, 2006 18:39 IST

The Congress party is meeting on Saturday evening to chalk out a strategy over the controversial reservation proposal as well as to assess the performance of the two-year-old United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government it leads.

Although there is no fixed agenda for the meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC), the party's highest decision-making body, top leaders are also expected to discuss the party's performance in the just concluded assembly polls.

While the party retained power in Assam, took power in Ponycherry and did well in Tamil Nadu, it lost Kerala and continued with dismal performance in West Bengal.

The CWC meeting, taking place after a long gap, is expected to congratulate party chief Sonia Gandhi for re-election this month to the Lok Sabha with a record margin after resigning over the office-of-profit issue, and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for his government's performance in the last two years.

The Manmohan Singh government completes two years in office Monday.

"The CWC meeting will extend its support to the prime minister-appointed group of ministers to evolve a compromise formula to the reservation imbroglio. We appreciate the government's genuine efforts to take along all sections of the society," said a CWC member who did not want to be identified.

The government's decision to expand the quota for other backward classes (OBCs) in central educational institutions has triggered student protests in many cities.

"A large section of Congress leaders feel that the proposed reservation should not affect the non-quota students. The leaders would air their views at the meeting," he said.

The apex body is likely to pass a resolution to elevate Sonia Gandhi's son Rahul Gandhi as general secretary. An MP himself, Rahul earned accolades for his work as campaign manager for his mother during her re-election from Rae Bareli.

"He has really done a good job in Rae Bareli and proved himself fit for a higher job. His induction to the top level would galvanise the party in Uttar Pradesh where youth have already started seeing him as their future leader," said the CWC member said.

First Published: May 20, 2006 18:39 IST