Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi has called a day-long strategy meeting of the party’s 12 Chief Ministers on December 27. Ways to take forward the Lokpal Act, which was passed by Parliament earlier this month, review of the steps that need to be taken to check price rise and the progress on implementing food security are among the key subjects that will be discussed, Congress general secretary Janardan Dwivedi said.
While the Lokpal Bill has been repeatedly showcased by Mr. Gandhi in recent days, price rise is an issue that Congress president Sonia Gandhi cited as a major reason for the party’s rout in the recent Assembly elections in four States.
Those who will attend the December 27 meeting include Central Ministers A.K. Antony, P. Chidambaram, Sushilkumar Shinde, Anand Sharma and Jairam Ramesh, Chief Ministers of the 12 Congress-ruled States, the general secretaries in-charge of these States, Mr. Gandhi, Ms. Gandhi’s political secretary Ahmed Patel and the party’s communication chief Ajay Maken.
The Congress-ruled States are Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Uttarkhand, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam.
The conclave of Chief Ministers will precede the AICC meeting slated for January 17. A drafting committee for an omnibus resolution that will be put to the Congress Working Committee on January 16 first has been set up. The committee will be chaired by Mr. Antony — its other members are Mr. Chidambaram, Salman Khurshid, Mr. Ramesh, Mr. Shinde, Mr. Sharma and Mohan Gopal, the last named Director of the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Contemporary Studies.