M A I N   N E W S

CWC pats Sonia, Manmohan
Anita Katyal
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 16
The meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) today glossed over all contentious issues and instead concentrated on congratulating itself on the successful completion of the UPA government’s one year in office.

The 25-odd speakers, including Chief Ministers, who participated in the deliberations, competed with each other in heaping praise on Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Mrs Gandhi set the tone when she praised Dr Manmohan Singh’s leadership of the UPA government in her opening remarks. Dr Singh, on his part, lauded Mrs Gandhi for the manner in which she chartered the party through troubled waters with her “maturity, guidance and leadership.”

The two-page resolution adopted by the CWC, showered praise on both Mrs Gandhi and Dr Singh. The resolution appreciated how Mrs Gandhi led the party to victory and then renounced power. It placed on record its acknowledgement of the “quiet dignity and qualities of head and heart” which Dr Singh had brought to bear on his august office.

“Under his leadership, the last 12 months have seen a large number of policies and programmes implemented’, the resolution said and then went on to list the UPA government’s achievements. In fact, the resolution reflected the detailed account of the UPA government’s achievements which the Prime Minister presented at today’s meeting. Stating that a progress report on the UPA government’s performance will be presented to the nation on May 22, Dr Singh then went on to list out its priorities which include agriculture, rural development, infrastructure, health, education, urban renewal and knowledge economy. He also made a special mention of the work being done in rural areas including rural housing, electrification and telecom connectivity, adding that a corpus of Rs.5000 crore had been set up for the development of backward regions.

Although the five-hour marathon session concentrated primarily on the UPA government’s achievements, several speakers, including Satyavrat Chaturvedi, Ram Naresh Yadav, and Ajit Jogi, spoke of maintaining discipline in the party and also how ministers ignored party workers. This, they pointed out, resulted in a communication gap because of which the party was not able to give due publicity to the government’s programmes.

Probably mindful of the party's views on this issue, Mrs Gandhi herself broached the subject in her opening remarks, saying that ministers should keep in mind the sentiments of party workers and interact frequently with them during their tours to the states. This, she felt, will provide an opportunity to the ministers to apprise the workers of the government’s achievements while they could also get their grievances redressed.

Mrs Ambika Soni, chairperson of the Congress media department, told presspersons later that Mrs Gandhi also underlined the importance of implementing the commitments made in the CMP which, according to her, is a document of faith particularly since it also reflects the promises made by the Congress in its election manifesto. This assertion comes in the backdrop of the criticism from the Left parties who maintain the UPA government has not been sincere in the implementation of the CMP.

The CWC acknowledged that it is the first time that the Congress is heading a coalition government with Mrs Gandhi herself observing that running a coalition posed several challenges but was confident of overcoming them. Keeping in mind the sensitivities of its UPA partners, the CWC resolution also went of out its way to congratulate its allies and the Left parties on the UPA government’s first anniversary while appreciating their contribution and cooperation.

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