With the Lokpal issue generating much heat, the Congress Working Committee meeting in New Delhi on Friday is expected to take a tough line on the “so- called representatives” of the civil society, a party euphemism for Team Anna Hazare.
This will be the first formal meeting of the apex policy making body to take stock of the political situation after the CWC was reconstituted in March.
Deliberations of the Congress top brass’ comes ahead of the all-party meeting being convened on the Lokpal bill issue on 3rd July and the Monsoon session of Parliament beginning from 1st August, which by all indications is expected to be a tumultuous affair.The issue of bringing the Prime Minister under the ambit of the Lokpal has become a ticklish issue.
The draft bill of the Government which opposes the inclusion of Prime Minister, higher judiciary and conduct of MPs inside Parliament, contrary to the stand of Team Anna.
The CWC has met twice earlier after reconstitution by party chief Sonia Gandhi but those were meetings to condole the deaths of party veteran Arjun Singh and Arunachal Chief Minister Khandu Dorjee respectively.
The meeting comes at a time when the party is under attack from a belligerent Opposition and sections of civil society over corruption and has launched a countrywide public campaign to “expose” what it calls their “grand design to usurp power through undemocratic means”.
The AICC has dubbed Anna Hazare as also Ramdev as “masks” of the RSS-BJP.
A senior Congress leader, who declined to be identified, said that Friday’s deliberations could see the party taking a tough line against the attitude of the civil society representatives of “my way or the highway”.
Hazare has threatened a fast from 16th August if the Lokpal bill is not passed by then.
The Government is under increasing attack from the right and the left over its handling of the entire issue of Lokpal bill, including what the opposition dubs as the “fiasco” relating to Ramdev.
This is also the first meeting of the CWC after the recent flareup in the demand for separate Telangana with Party MPs, MLAs and Ministers from the region threatening to resign en masse if an early decision on the issue is not taken.