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Penultimate decision only after Tuesday's CPP meet

By Vicky Nanjappa and Onkar Singh in New Delhi
May 17, 2009 20:00 IST
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Candidates waiting to step into the government may have to wait till Tuesday as the triumphant Congress has decided to take a final decision on the penultimate list of allies only after the Congress Parliamentary Party meeting, to be held on the same day.

Conveying this at a press conference, Congress spokesperson, Janardhan Dwivedi said that the CPP would meet at the Parliament house on Tuesday morning. First the President and Chairperson of the CPP would be elected, following which a meeting of only the pre- poll allies would be held.

The Congress in consultation with the pre-poll allies would decide on who else would join the government.

This would mean that neither Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad Yadav nor Lok Janshakti Party supreme Ram Vilas Paswan would be part of the meeting. Dwivedi, however, did not spell this out in words.

Regarding the inclusion of Rahul Gandhi into the Cabinet, he said that it was entirely the prerogative of the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. He also added that Rahul would take a final call on the same. The Congress spokesperson further indicated that the Cabinet would be a mixture of both youth and experience.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday said that a clear mandate for the United Progressive Alliance will help the government deal better with the problems of economic recession under which the entire world is reeling.

Dr Singh, who spoke at the meeting of the Congress Working Committee, said that the clear mandate would also help the new government deal effectively with the threats and problems which India faces from its neighbours.

Manmohan added that recession and threats from neighbours are the two immediate challenges before the new government and they must be addressed without delay.

Singh also praised the efforts of Congress President Sonia Gandhi who worked relentlessly for the party. He further thanked Rahul Gandhi who helped revive the party, especially in Uttar Pradesh.

Sonia Gandhi, who also spoke at the CWC, said that the real hard work begins now. We should be a party of neutral governance and must make a sincere effort to take the country forward.

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Vicky Nanjappa and Onkar Singh in New Delhi

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