New Delhi: UPA will hold the first meeting of it’s newly set up coordination committee on August 8 to ensure cohesive functioning of the ruling alliance, a fortnight after NCP leaders Sharad Pawar and Praful Patel threatened to pull out of the government.
Yielding to NCP`s demand, Congress had on July 24 agreed to put in place such a coordination mechanism.
This had happened after NCP chief Pawar and senior leader Patel had met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi and discussed the week-long stand-off during which the two leaders had also offered to quit the Cabinet.
A statement issued by the two parties had later said, "This mechanism would ensure that the UPA allies meet at least once a month to discuss policy and other issues".
Members from all constituents are part of this mechanism. UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi heads the committee, which has Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Defence Minister AK Antony, Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde as members.
Among the allies Union Minister Ajit Singh represents his party RLD on the panel which also comprises E Ahmed of the IUML and Farooq Abdullah of the National Conference.
UPA allies NCP, Trinamool and DMK are yet to name their representatives but names of TR Baalu from DMK and Praful Patel from NCP are doing rounds.
This is for the first time in eight years of the UPA government that a coordination committee of alliance partners has been formed. During UPA-I, there was only a coordination committee between Congress and Left parties.