Cong avoids alliance issues at Plenary

Congress President Sonia Gandhi as well as Rahul Gandhi remained silent on the issue of alliances at the ruling party`s just concluded plenary.

New Delhi: With Assembly polls in five states including in West Bengal and Tamil Nadu not far away, Congress President Sonia Gandhi as well as Rahul Gandhi remained silent on the issue of alliances at the ruling party`s just concluded plenary.

The political resolution adopted at the Plenary also skirted the ticklish issue.

Congress is currently part of the DMK-led alliance in Tamil Nadu and has played a second fiddle to Mamata Banerjee`s Trinamool Congress in West Bengal in the Lok Sabha polls last year and there have been heated exchanges between the two sides on issue of alliance in the Assembly polls.

Besides West Bengal and Tamil Nadu, Assembly polls are also due in Assam, Kerala and Puducherry next year.

"This is a time for constructive action, including in those states where we are in coalition", the Congress President had said in her opening remarks in the Plenary which also had strategies for the Assembly polls as one of its aims.

She only acknowledged the shock the party received in the just concluded Assembly elections in Bihar where the party went alone.

"I am only too aware of how much work we need to do in some states. The recent election in Bihar has demonstrated
that there is no alternative to earnestly beginning the process of reviving the party organisation from the grassroots.
"There are no shortcuts. The road ahead will be long and arduous but we will persevere and we will succeed. This is no time for despondency", she had said.

Her remarks that the party``s future will be shaped "not by a magic wand or by any single individual", but its capacity to work together as a team, was a signal that in the days ahead charisma alone was less likely to work.

In the political resolution, the Congress merely said, "We must ensure that we strengthen the party organisation to continue to reflect a political will to craft both its own future and that of the country, much like it did during the freedom struggle and the decades that followed."

In states like West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura the Indian National Congress emphatically rejects all attempts to perpetrate a cycle of violence for political and /or electoral advantages by political parties, the resolution said in obvious reference to the Left parties.

Talking in generalities, the resolution said the necessity of coalition politics at the central level does not prevent party`s state-level workers from hoping and dreaming of a larger political space wherever they may be and "we as a party must be cognisant and supportive of their aspirations."
Every Congress worker and state party unit has a responsibility to strengthen the organizational base of the party, it added.

In the plenary, some prominent Congress leaders from West Bengal and Tamil Nadu including Deepa Dasmunsi and Manicka Tagore had said the tie-up with Trinamool Congress and DMK should not be at the expense of the party.

Rahul, who is scheduled to visit Tamil Nadu tomorrow, has been credited with the line of `go it alone` in Uttar Pradesh in the Assembly polls due in 2012.

PTI