OTHERS

Sonia may call CWC meet soon

NEW DELHI, MAY 20. The Congress(I) president, Ms. Sonia Gandhi, is likely to call a Congress Working Committee meeting next week in a move to consolidate the momentum generated by the party's performance in the recent Assembly elections. She plans to follow that up with a party Chief Ministers' conference.

The move assumes significance as it would be the party's first high-level meeting after the Assembly elections. It is aimed at internal consolidation and is expected to take stock of the results and the fallout, besides chalking out the party's political and agitational priorities.

Equations, especially with the Left parties, have been affected and ways to mend fences are likely to be discussed. The Congress leadership has taken note of the visible differences between the RSS and the BJP and would come up with a cogent strategy to face the situation. ``We are watching the developments very carefully and the party will chalk out its strategy accordingly,'' says a CWC member.

The meeting will be attended by all the party Chief Ministers in their capacity as permanent invitees of the CWC. Ms. Sonia plans to call a separate meeting of the 11 Chief Ministers once the Governments in Kerala, Assam and Pondicherry settle in.

She has repeatedly stressed the fact that the Congress(I)-ruled States must lead the way in providing good governance. At the plenary session at Bangalore, Ms. Gandhi made a pointed reference to the States ruled by her party and went out of her way to praise the Chief Ministers.

The Chief Ministers' conference will be the second in recent times. Earlier in the year, a day-long meet was held where the performances of the Chief Ministers' were scrutinised and targets set. However, with the party capturing power in Assam and Kerala, the high command reportedly feels that there should be another conference to help the new Chief Ministers get into the act.