Sonia holds consultations with senior leaders
New Delhi: Congress President Sonia Gandhi held consultations with senior party leaders on Thursday amid talk of an early decision on the key issue of alliances for the Lok Sabha polls.
Gandhi`s meeting with leaders including Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and Defence Minister A K Antony came on a day when seven more days were given to Andhra Pradesh Assembly till January 30 to discuss and debate the draft Telangana bill in the House before returning it to the Centre.
The decision was taken by President Pranab Mukherjee following a request of the Andhra Pradesh government which sought four weeks extension of the January 23 deadline fixed by him while sending the bill to the state Assembly.
Other leaders present at the deliberations included Ghulam Nabi Azad, Digvijay Singh, Jairam Ramesh and Ahmed Patel, political secretary to the Congress chief.
Antony is the head of the Committee which will decide on alliances.
At the AICC briefing, party spokesperson Randip Surjewala said that alliances will be stitched up "very soon".
On the Telangana issue, he said that the Congress is committed to formation of the separate state and that is why an extension has been given to the Andhra Pradesh Assembly for discussing the issue.
He dismissed as speculation reports that the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Kirankumar Reddy is planning to float a separate party on the issue of United Andhra Pradesh.
Party sources said that the issue of commemoration of the 125th birth anniversary of Jawaharlal Nehru was also discussed at the meeting.
Government has already decided to commemorate the 125th birth anniversary of the country`s first Prime Minister throughout the year from November 14.
To consider policies and lay down guidelines for the commemoration of events, a national committee has been constituted under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
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