The Congress will insist on a common minimum programme if it joins a Trinamul Congress-led government in West Bengal after the Assembly polls. This was clearly indicated by the party here on Thursday.
The Congress is fighting the polls in an alliance with the Mamata Banerjee-led party in the state and plans to release its election manifesto on April 3 in Kolkata.
The West Bengal PCC wants Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi to adddress 18 to 20 election meetings each and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to address six to seven meetings in select places. It has already sent a proposal to the AICC in this regard.
One meeting would be addressed jointly by Ms Banerjee and either Mrs Gandhi or Rahul in Kolkata, said AICC sources.
While names of chief ministers in the Congress-ruled states figured in the list of the party campaigners, Union home minister P. Chidambaram is in demand. Former Indian cricket team captain Mohd. Azharuddin, film star Raj Babbar, Union ministers Ghulam Nabi Azad and Salman Khursheed will campaign for the party.
Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee is, over all, in charge of this historic election — he is a strategist, campaigner and the face of the party.
AICC in-charge of party affairs in West Bengal, Shakeel Ahmed is expected to camp, in the state for the next two months.
The Congress will build up its campaign on the failure in administration, law and order, corruption and non-utilisation of the Centre’s fund and charge the Left Front government of ignoring development of minorities in the state.
Meanwhile, Mr Gandhi will begin his campaigning for the West Bengal polls on April 14. This was annunced by the West Bengal Youth Congress president Mausam Noor on Thursdsay.
“As the first phase of the West Bengal Assembly polls would be held on April 18, Mr Gandhi will start his election campaign on April 14,” an agency report from Malda quoted Mausam Noor, also the Congress MP from Malda, as saying . Asian Age