Nuke deal not part of Congress campaign for time being

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New Delhi, Mar 11 (UNI) The Congress Party today asked its state leaders to launch a high-voltage campaign highlighting the achievements of the Manmohan Singh government, in a clear indication that it is gearing up to face the General Elections any time.

The AICC functionaries held an interactive brainstorming session with the PCC Chiefs, CLP leaders and Chief Ministers of 13 states at the Party headquarters to enlighten them on the issues to be taken to the masses this month and next month.

The Indo-US Nuclear deal did not figure among the issues identified for publicity among the people at the state and district levels through rallies and conventions.

They were asked to lay major focus in the campaign on the salient features of the Union Budget for 2008-09, including the Rs 60,000 crore waiver on farm loans, benefits for women and old people.

AICC managers explained the importance of the Tribal Rights Bill and asked them to highlight its salient features in the tribal dominated areas, besides the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and the Right to Information Act.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat and Meghalaya Chief Minister D D Lapang attended the meeting, which was addressed by Union Ministers Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi and Prithviraj Chavan and AICC General Secretary Veerappa Moily.

A similar session was held with the PCC Chiefs and CLP leaders of 15 other states yesterday.

The state-level functionaries later joined the Congress MPs at a dinner hosted by Congress President Sonia Gandhi at her 10 Janpath residence.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Defence Minister A K Antony and other senior ministers from the Congress were present at the dinner.

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