Congress top brass hold deliberations

Congress top brass including PM and Sonia Gandhi held deliberations ahead of the budget session of Parliament.

New Delhi: With the party putting up a dismal
show in Assembly polls, Congress top brass including Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh and party chief Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday
held deliberations ahead of the budget session of Parliament.

The party`s Core Group meeting assumes significance as the
results have left the Congress in an unenviable situation as
it has little room to manoeuvre at a time when allies like
Trinamool Congress have opposed a number of key decisions of
the Centre.

That the party will attempt to reach out to the allies as
well as Opposition was clear earlier in the day with Gandhi
expressing hope that they will support the UPA on issues of
public importance if they are taken into confidence.

"My view is that and it is also of the Prime Minister and
Government that if we continuously and regularly keep in touch
with and talk to our coalition partners as well to the
Opposition parties, I have every hope that on issues, which
are beneficial to the people of the country, they will
understand and they will support," Gandhi said.

She was talking to reporters at the AICC headquarters here
after reviewing the party`s performance in the Assembly polls
in her one to one meeting with party office bearers including
the AICC in-charge for the states that went to polls.

Amid strains with Trinamool Congress, Congress had said
that it was open to the idea of a UPA coordination committee
to bring greater cohesion within.

There has been no formal mechanism in the ruling coalition
for consultations among allies, and parties like Trinamool
Congress and NCP have favoured such formal or informal

Sources said that the Congress Core Group meeting
discussed in detail strategy of the party and the government
for the upcoming Budget.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee is likely to speak to
UPA allies including Mamata Bannerjee to seek their opinion
before the budget is presented.

Some of the demands of the allies are also likely to be
incorporated in the budget as the government has to pass a
number of bills in Parliament.

The Core Group meeting is also learnt to have discussed
how the government can succeed in getting these bills through
with the help of better floor coordination.

Government is also likely to reach out to SP and BSP so
that it does not fall short of numbers in the House if any
such eventuality arises on any crucial bill.

Lokpal bill which was passed by Lok Sabha could not see
the light of the day in Rajya Sabha in the last session owing
to stiff protest from Trinamool Congress and another
opposition parties.

The meeting also discussed the election results and
deliberated what sort of corrective actions need to be taken.


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