Cong plenary to seek probe into right-wing terror
New Delhi: The Congress, which began its 83rd plenary session here Saturday, is likely to ask the government to probe the terror links of right-wing groups like the RSS, and will project the party as the only one with pan-Indian presence, sources said.
The party position on terrorism, chiefly the threat emanating from right-wing groups, the internal security challenges facing the country, probity in public life, and the Congress`s pre-eminent place as the only pan-Indian political party are expected to be spelt out in the political, economic and foreign affairs resolutions the three-day plenary will debate and pass.
Party chief Sonia Gandhi chaired a meeting of the subjects committee to finalise drafts of the resolutions to be moved and adopted during the plenary in the 125th year of the party`s founding. Members of the party`s working committee, chief ministers, state Congress chiefs and Congress legislature party leaders attended the meeting.
Party sources said a resolution is likely to be moved to amend the party constitution to increase the term of Congress president from three to five years.
The political resolution, while laying stress on the Congress being "the only national party which has a pan-India existence", will touch on issues of probity in public life.
According to sources, during the discussion on the internal security challenges facing the country, some members suggested that the links of right-wing groups, like the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), with terror should be "seriously investigated".
Party general secretary Digvijay Singh later stepped up attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the RSS and demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the killing of Sunil Joshi, an RSS activist linked to Ajmer Dargah blasts of 2007, alleging that Joshi was killed because he "knew too much".
He accused the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh of closing the Joshi murder case without finding out facts. The case was later investigated by the National Investigation Agency and the Rajasthan Anti-Terrorist Squad.
Sources said the political resolution is also likely to call upon the government for early passage of Land Acquisition Act and finalisation of the food security bill.
They said that party general secretary Rahul Gandhi, who is likely to speak on the political resolution, said at the subjects committee meeting that demolition of Babri mosque in 1992 should be described as a criminal act and not merely as an act of vandalism.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh attended the meeting, which lasted almost four hours, along with senior leaders, including Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Defence Minister A.K. Antony and party treasurer Motilal Vora, at the Parliament House Annexe here.
Party sources said the 2G spectrum controversy is expected to find a mention in the context of probity in public life. The party is also to mount an attack on the BJP for not taking decisive steps in Karnataka despite allegations of nepotism against Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa.
The situation in Jammu and Kashmir, cross-border terrorism and threat of Maoist violence are also likely to find mention in the political resolution.
The sources said that Congress members from Kerala, West Bengal and Tripura wanted that the resolution should not talk of the Left parties "as other opposition parties" but name them specifically. Kerala and West Bengal face assembly polls next year and Left parties are the main political rivals of the Congress in these two states.
The sources said the resolution will discuss the role of the Congress in various states. "The emphasis would be to project the Congress as a national party which also caters to regional aspirations," a senior Congress leader told IANS.
It is expected to mention the achievements of the first United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government and the tasks ahead of the present government.
The sources said that the resolution on the Congress completing 125 years will trace the party`s history and is likely to mention the contributions of Mahatma Gandhi and prime ministers Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and party president Sonia Gandhi.
While the economic resolution is expected to emphasise inclusive growth, the foreign affairs resolution will speak about the growing role of India in the global affairs, party leaders said.
The next two days of the three-day plenary session will be held at a sprawling tented township in Burari in northwest Delhi and is expected to be attended by 1,250 All India Congress Committee (AICC) delegates and around 15,000 other leaders and party activists.
The Delhi plenary is being held at a time when the Congress-led government is facing a series of corruption scandals and controversies.
While the political resolution and the statement marking the 125 years of the party are expected to be moved on Sunday, the economic and foreign affairs resolutions are likely to be moved Monday.
Gandhi will set the tone of the deliberations in her presidential address Sunday morning.
Delhi is hosting the Congress plenary for the first time in 32 years. Indira Gandhi, then in the opposition, presided over the last session in Delhi in 1978.
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