AICC to define Rahul's role in Cong

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New Delhi, Nov 16: The crucial AICC session here tomorrow is expected to formally mark the ascent of Rahul Gandhi, the scion of the Nehru-Gandhi family, into the centre stage of Congress politics and the day-long meet will also define his role in reinvigorating the party to face coming electoral challenges, including the Assembly elections in Gujarat.

This is the first AICC meet that Mr Gandhi will be attending after his induction into the AICC as General Secretary in the recent reshuffle of the party's organisational apparatus.

It was at the last session of the AICC plenary at Hyderabad in January 2006 that party leaders and its rank and file had vociferously demanded a greater role for Rahul Gandhi, the Lok Sabha member from Amethi, in the grand old party.

With the Indo-US nuclear deal stuck in political quagmire amid the speculation of an early general election, the AICC meet would seek an increased focus for Rahul Gandhi to spearhead the party to a majority to form a government of its own at the Centre.

Aimed at making Mr Gandhi a rallying point, Congress President Sonia Gandhi will unveil an ''action prorgramme'' for the party leaders and workers at the one-day session.

Ms Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will highlight the ''constraints'' of running a coalition government, which it was experimenting at the Centre for the first time, while motivating the delegates to create awareness among the "aam aadmi" about the party's flagship programmes such as the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, Urban Renewal Mission and the Right to Information Act.

Ms Gandhi would spell out her action plan in her concluding remarks at the day-long session at the sprawling Talkatora stadium. The highlight of the session will be adoption of an ''omnibus'' resolution on political, economic and international issues, besides incorporating a few amendments to the Party's Constitution.

The resolution will have its focus on Gujarat in view of the forthcoming state assembly elections and also on Pakistan, which is in the midst of political turmoil.

However, the contentious Indo-US nuclear deal is likely to have a subdued reference in the context of the change in the attitude of the Left parties, party sources said.

Besides the omnibus resolution, there will be three special resolutions on centenary of Mahatma Gandhi's Satyagraha, 150 years of First War of Independence and the 60 years of Indian Independence.

The draft of the resolutions will be considered tonight by the Congress Working Committee (CWC), the highest decision making body of the party that heads the ruling coalition at the Centre, which will give its approval for introduction at tomorrow's AICC meet.


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