Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: With the countdown for the Assembly elections having begun, the Congress on Saturday announced the setting up of a 22-member central coordination committee with Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee as convener.

The committee includes Congress Working Committee members Arjun Singh, Motilal Vora, Ahmed Patel, M.L. Fotedar, Ambika Soni, Ashok Gehlot, Mukul Wasnik, Oscar Fernandes and Veerappa Moily.

The Congress president also constituted a manifestos screening committee with Mukul Wasnik as convener and a central publicity committee with Mr. Vora as convener.

Among the four States and one Union Territory going to the polls, the Congress is in power in Assam and Pondicherry and heads a coalition in Kerala.