CWC meets tomorrow to discuss Gujarat aftermath

NEW DELHI JAN. 3. The Congress president, Sonia Gandhi, has summoned a meeting of the Congress Working Committee on Sunday. Significantly, this will be the first meeting of the apex body after the Gujarat elections.

The meeting is expected to discuss the outcome of the Gujarat elections and the issues thrown up in its wake — the Sangh Parivar's bid to corner the Opposition parties, mainly the Congress, on the issue of Hindutva and national security.

Senior Congress leaders say the party must take a forthright position on both the issues. The party's strategy for the coming Assembly elections will also be deliberated upon.

Concern has been expressed in the party over its poll prospects in Rajasthan. Senior party leaders indicated that the issue of leadership change in the State was not a closed affair but whatever decision was taken would not be a knee-jerk reaction.

Meanwhile, reacting to the developments in Bihar, resulting from the killing of three youths by the police, Congress leader, Manmohan Singh, spoke to the Bihar Chief Minister, Rabri Devi, over phone and expressed the party's concern.

At a press conference, the party spokesman, Jaipal Reddy, said Rabri Devi should ensure that those responsible for killing the youths were brought to justice expeditiously. " This is a very serious incident and we would like to see the criminals nabbed'' he said.

Though Mr. Reddy ruled out the possibility of the party withdrawing support to the RJD government in Bihar, there is a feeling that it should maintain a distance and its independence. One of the options being considered is that the State party chief should not be a member of the Government.

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