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Cong. CMs discuss Gujarat polls

The devotees of `prajapita brahmakumaries' appying tilak to the Congress president, Sonia Gandhi, at the Brahmakumaris World Headquarters in Mt. Abu on Saturday. — PTI

The devotees of `prajapita brahmakumaries' appying tilak to the Congress president, Sonia Gandhi, at the Brahmakumaris World Headquarters in Mt. Abu on Saturday. — PTI  

Mt. Abu (Rajasthan) NOV. 9. With Gujarat Assembly elections round the corner, it was probably inevitable that the crucial polls should have found its way into the deliberations at the Congress Chief Ministers' conclave which concluded here today. Though the elections, according to the Congress president, Sonia Gandhi, did not feature in the structured discussions on good governance, a special meeting of Chief Ministers was convened last night by the AICC general-secretary in-charge of Gujarat, Kamal Nath, along the sidelines of the conclave to discuss campaign strategies.

At the meeting, it was decided that all the party Chief Ministers from the States bordering Gujarat and the Hindi-speaking belt would be roped in to campaign in the State. While Ms. Gandhi — at her press conference today — said the Congress would stress the need for peace for progress, Mr. Nath chipped in by stating that the performance of the Congress Chief Ministers would be the showcase of the party's campaign in Gujarat.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that the Central Election Committee of the AICC — which was scheduled to meet on Sunday to finalise the list of candidates for the polls — will now meet on November 12 and 13. And, the final list is slated to be announced on November 13. As of now, indications are that the Congress would leave about half-a-dozen of the 187 seats uncontested for like-minded parties as part of a seat-sharing arrangement.

Though Ms. Gandhi and party media managers denied that the timing and venue of the conclave had anything to do with the Gujarat polls as both had been decided much before the elections were announced, much has been made about the choice of Mt. Abu as it borders Gujarat and is the favoured tourist destination of Gujaratis. What is more, this is the season when they swarm the summer capital of Rajasthan in thousands.

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