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HVK Archives: Sonia camp looks to UF to break impasse (part II of II)

Sonia camp looks to UF to break impasse (part II of II) - The Times of India

Askari H. Zaidi ()
March 6, 1998

Title: Sonia camp looks to UF to break impasse (part II of II)
Author: Askari H. Zaidi
Publication: The Times of India
Date: March 6, 1998

Cautious CWC decides to ait and watch

The Congress Working Committee (CWC) on Thursday decided to adopt
a "wait and watch" approach to government formation, apparently
because of the opposition from some United Front constituents to
supporting a Congress-led government and certain party units
declaring war on the idea of taking UF help.

The CWC, however, expressed the party's willingness to play a
"constructive role in the process of formation of a stable
government at the Centre to enable all secular forces to work
together to strengthen the secular and pluralistic character of
our country."

One CWC member interpreted this as meaning that the Congress
would like the United Front to take a decision whether to support
a BJP-led coalition government. "If the Front is actually against
the formation of a BJP-led government, all its constituents will
vote against it during the vote of confidence and not merely
abstain, which would ensure survival of the government."

It appears that the Congress would like the Front to defeat the
BJP government on the floor of the house and then try its hand at
installing a secular government.

It has also been interpreted in party circles that the Congress
would once again like the Front to form the government.

The CWC, by passing a resolution, expressed gratitude to Sonia
Gandhi for her "herculean efforts" to help the party in the
recent elections and left it to her to choose the leader of the
Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP). The CPP leader will
automatically become the Prime Minister if the Congress gets a
chance to form the government.

It appears the CWC fears a power struggle in the party in the
event of its being asked to form the government. The resolution
said the CWC "requests Ms Sonia Gandhi to help the party arrive
at a consensus on the choice of a leader of the Congress
Parliamentary Party in order to ensure total unity in the party."

The resolution also hoped that Ms Gandhi will play a "more
direct, enlarged and meaningful role in the larger interests of
the country and the Congress party."

The CWC also expressed gratitude to party president Sitaram Kesri
for leading the poll campaign and thanked the electorate "for
making the elections a success".

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