M A I N   N E W S

Congress in panel-constituting mode
Anita Katyal
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 30
Taking a cue from the UPA government it heads, the Congress has also got into the mode of constituting committees each time it is confronted with a ticklish issue.

In the latest instance, the Congress leadership is planning to constitute coordination panels in all states to deal with the problem of growing dissidence in its pradesh committees.

The AICC has been flooded with complaints of groupism from various states. In most cases, the PCC presidents and leaders of the legislature party are constantly at odds with each other.

Only recently, when Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and DPCC president Ram Babu Sharma were battling each other in full public glare, the AICC managers suggested that a coordination panel be set up to bridge the gap between the party and the government.

AICC sources said the election manifesto committees had been set up in states where the Congress is in power, coordination panels would be constituted in all states.

Uttranchal is the next state after Delhi where such a coordination panel is being contemplated. The state unit here is ridden with factionalism as Chief Minister ND Tiwari and PCC chief Harish Rawat are at loggerheads.

Mr Tiwari’s detractors are often spotted in Delhi, complaining about the Chief Minister’s style of functioning and pleading their case for a change in leadership.

AICC leaders admitted that there was an urgent need to bring about cohesion in the state organisation and it was hoped that the proposed coordination panel would provide an effective forum for bridging the differences between the two groups.

The problem of dissidence, however, is not confined to a few states. While the Congress in Kerala is on the verge of a split, reports of bitter infighting have been pouring in from Karnataka, Rajasthan, Punjab, Assam and Gujarat.

It is not just in the states, but an informal system of government-party coordination has also been put in place at the Centre. It has been decided that senior ministers, who also double as spokespersons of various committees, will have regular interaction with the party’s media department, headed by Ms Ambika Soni, to brief its members about the government’s major decisions and policies.

“This will enable he party’s spokespersons to explain and defend the government’s decisions in a proper perspective,” explained a senior AICC leader.


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