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CWC to give warm send-off to Pranab Mukherjee on Monday

NEW DELHI: Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would lead the party in bidding farewell to senior leaderPranab Mukherjee, who has been nominated as UPA’s presidential candidate.

The Congress Working Committee (CWC) would meet on Monday to give a warm send-off to the senior leader, who has been a key member of the apex body for many years and has held key positions in the party and the government.

The apex body would also discuss the July 19 Presidential election which is threatening to witness a shrill campaign with rival candidate PA Sangma raking up issues of corruption and economic crisis to make a splash.

Congress on Friday turned down Sangma’s demand for a debate with the Mukherjee. The party believes the campaign, which still has around a month to go, could turn bitter because rival BJP has lent support to the former NCP leader in a bid to make a contest of what appears to be a cakewalk for the veteran Congressman, if one goes by the numerical strength.

The CWC meeting was scheduled after Mukherjee announced in Kolkata that he would resign as the finance minister on June 26 before filing his nomination papers for the Presidential election.

Mukherjee has been a key member of the CWC, drafting issues and documents for the discussions for many years. Earlier this month, he was at the heart of one such brainstorming session called to discuss the economic crisis. He made a presentation on the financial slowdown to the apex body following which the government announced its resolve to kick start the reforms.

Mukherjee has donned several hats since Congress’s return to power in Delhi in 2004 and emerged as a key minister and troubleshooter for the UPA. Since then, he became virtually indispensable in party affairs.

While he was elected to Rajya Sabha in 1969 and stuck to the Upper House for many years, he entered the Lok Sabha in 2004 and was made the leader of the House.

Congress is agog with speculation on who would replace Mukherjee in the many roles he performed during the last seven years. While he has been the key draftsman for brainstorming sessions like CWC meetings, the other slots to be filled are of leader of the House in Lok Sabha and of troubleshooter with allies and opposition.

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Posted by on Jun 24 2012. Filed under Top Stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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