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Austerity drive: Cong leaders take bus for Surajkund meet

Agencies   |  Nov 09, 2012, 10:11AM IST
New Delhi: Amid concerns within the party over "limitations" in a coalition government, top Congress leaders including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi will discuss threadbare future strategies during a day-long session today. 
 
Top Congress leaders, Cabinet ministers and Ministers of State with independent charge will meet in a "dialogue session" in nearby Surajkund today to discuss the current political and economic situation. 
 
In an apparent move to give a signal of austerity to the 'aam admi' all Union ministers and top leaders barring Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and party chief Sonia Gandhi travelled minus the usual fanfare and without beacon lights. The Congress leaders took a special bus from party headquarters at 24, Akbar Road, in the morning to reach Surajkund.
 
The Congress has utilised bus rides by local leaders to project a picture of unity and to connect with the common man during state elections in past. 
 
At a time when the party and the government are facing tough challenges at political and economic fronts, Congress' day long 'dialogue session' on Friday is likely to brainstorm on the strategy ahead and take a view on the issue of alliances in different states.
 
According to reports, the Congress leaders will discuss economic challenges and current political scenario. Although the meet will be informal in nature in which there will be no no resolutions passed, Samvad Baithak will virtually set the agenda for the larger brainstorming at Chintan Shivir, which is likely to be organised in January next year, reporsts said. 
 
There is also a likelihood that the party may discuss the issue of alliances in states at the Saturday meeting. The dialogue session is happening before the much-talked about organisational reshuffle in which the in-charges of many states are to be replaced. Party general secretary Janardhan Dwivedi had said that it would be an informal meeting which will discuss economic challenges and manifesto implementation. Reservation for Backward Muslims was one of the promises made in the manifesto, which is yet to see the light of the day.
 
The dialogue session comes after the public meeting here on November 4, which saw Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi strongly backing the economic reform measures initiated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The session will discuss three topics - the present political situation, economic challenges and status of implementation of 2009 party manifesto. Congress and the government it leads at the Centre have been facing several allegations of corruption from the Opposition and social activists in recent months.
 
  
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