Cong, allies meet to discuss strategy on session eve
It was the first meeting of the UPA Coordination Committee headed by Sonia Gandhi after the worst electoral debacle of the Congress as well as the alliance and was an occasion to reflect upon what went wrong. Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, National Conference President Farooq Abdullah, IUML chief E Ahmed and RLD President Ajit Singh were present in the meeting.
Lalu Prasad, whose RJD, was supporting the UPA II government from outside and which fought this Lok Sabha polls in alliance with Congress, also attended the meeting. The meeting discussed the 2014 Lok Sabha election results and floor coordination for the upcoming Parliament session.
The leaders spoke on how to play an aggressive Opposition role in Parliament without being appearing obstructionist. After the meeting, A K Antony said the alliance wants to work more closely in Parliament. He, however, refused to divulge details saying detailed discussion will be held in the coming days. "Let us wait and watch," Antony said.
Pawar said, "This was the first meeting. We have decided that we have to be alert about the important issues of the country. This is the start." He said that they will react after looking at the 100 days agenda of the government. "This meeting was held just to discus how to coordinate in Parliament," the NCP chief said, adding such meetings will take place in future as well. NCP is an ally from Maharashtra and National Conference is from Jammu and Kashmir. Both the state are going to Assembly polls this year.
Meanwhile, Sonia, who is the UPA Chairperson, will also be hosting a lunch for MPs of the alliance in Parliament Annexe on June 5, party sources said. After appointment of senior leader Mallikarjun Kharge as the Leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha, the names that are doing rounds for the Leader of the Party in Rajya Sabha are A K Antony, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma, Digvijay Singh and Janardan Dwivedi.