Saturday, January 21, 2006

Congress And Andhra Pradesh

21 January 2006
Vasu Reddy from Chicago
vasureddy@aol.com

As I write this week, the Congress party is having its AICC Plenary session in Hyderabad. Every Congress leader that has any position of power in India is probably in Hyderabad. It is not astonishing that every newspaper, every Internet magazine and every TV station is covering this event in great detail. It should as Mr. Man Mohan Singh and Mrs. Sonia Gandhi are both heading this up, and are in same location for 3 days. I am always fond of Hyderabad and Andhra Pradesh. Also, I am fond of our food (actually all food, but partial to Indian food). I am also fond of the development these great big events will bring to the infrastructure. To enlighten myself I have been watching with great interest the happening just before this big Congress party gathering in Hyderabad. The usual stuff listed has been happening in preparation for the big gathering of Congressmen and Congresswomen in Hyderabad.

Ø Roads widened and cleaned.
Ø Buildings painted clean.
Ø Trash out of the way.
Ø Restaurants and Hotels completely full.
Ø Lot of cash spent on flowers and fruits and gifts.
Ø All tourist places full.
Ø Sonia Gandhi in town.
Ø Man Mohan Singh is also in town.
Ø City is full of posters and cutouts competing with movie posters.
Ø Tourism money and full demand for everything.
Ø Autos, busses, cars and jeeps full of congressmen and congresswomen.

Here are great details on what is happening in Hyderabad:

Busy Schedule

The three-day 82nd Congress plenary session, which commenced in Hyderabad on Saturday with the meting of the extended Congress Working Committee, will have a hectic schedule over the next two days. According to the schedule released Saturday evening, the All India Congress Committee session will commence at 9.30 am on Sunday with flag-hoisting by the Congress president Sonia Gandhi in the presence of Congress Working Committee members, Pradesh Congress Committee presidents, Congress Legislature Party leaders, AICC and CPP office-bearers and chairman, reception committee.

The AICC meeting will begin at 10 am with 'Vande Mataram', followed by a welcome speech by the chairman, reception committee. Once the condolence resolution and organizational constitutional resolutions are adopted, the AICC general secretaries will present their reports. After confirmation of the minutes of the previous AICC meeting held on August 21, 2004, the AICC will be converted into Subjects Committee.

The Subjects Committee meeting will begin with the opening remarks of the Congress president. The resolution on political affairs will be taken up for discussion around 11 am, followed by a resolution on economic affairs at 2 pm, resolution on agriculture, employment and poverty alleviation at 4 pm and resolution on international affairs at 6 pm. Members can take up any other matter with the permission of the chair at 7.30 pm. The meeting will end with the concluding remarks by the Congress president.

On the third and concluding day (Monday), the plenary session will commence with the arrival of Congress president at the venue at 9.30 am. After flag-hoisting, party functionaries -- CWC members, PCC presidents, CLP leaders, AICC and PCC office-bearers and chairman, reception committee, will escort the Congress president to the dais in a ceremonial procession.

After 'Vande Mataram' and welcome address by the chairman, reception committee, the plenary will adopt condolence resolution as well as the constitutional resolution. The Congress president will make her speech and later discussion on the political resolution will commence at 11.20 am, followed by discussion on the economic resolution at 1.20 pm.
Prime Minister Man Mohan Singh will address the plenary at 3 pm.
This will be followed by discussion on the resolution on agriculture, employment and poverty alleviation and the resolution on international affairs.
After the concluding remarks by the Congress president and vote of thanks, the plenary will conclude with the national anthem at 6.45 pm.

Great emphasis on FOOD

South Indian delicacies like the hot and Spicy Sambar, Idli, Vada, Dosa and Utappam will be among served to Congress President Sonia Gandhi and the delegates for breakfast. For the lunch and dinner the attendees would be served with three types of Chapatti, Rice, Sambar, Brinjal, Beans, Chicken, Fish, Green Salads and Fruit Salad and some Italian delicacies. Prime Minister Man Mohan Singh’s menu will mainly consist of Punjabi recipes. Three types of Punjabi Roti, Paratha and Nan were being prepared specially for him. I am sure he will enjoy them, and as well as everyone around him.According to estimates, The Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee would be spending about one Crore Rupees on food during the three-day event, which will be attended by more than 11,000 delegates. Over sixty varieties of mouth-watering dishes, including the Hyderabad Dhum Biriyani, popular ''Chepala Pulusu'' made of fresh fish specially brought from West Godavari District, and ''Ulava Charu'', a special gravy made with Horse gram by coastal Andhra cooks. There will be six food courts at the plenary session with food laid out with great care. Of the six food courts, one would be exclusively for the AICC delegates, one for the media and three for PCC delegates. A small food court would cater to the over 100 members of the extended Congress Working Committee, including PCC Presidents, Chief Ministers, former Chief Ministers and former Governors. The food courts would be manned by 15 legislators to extend due courtesies to the guests. Through out the three-day sessions, snack counters will be setup to serve fresh juices, coconut water, tea, coffee and snacks, including Bondas and Samosas to the delegates. I only wish I was there to enjoy just the food.

Rahul Gandhi is coming?

As his father did from an unknown field to come into politics and did quite well as a politician, before his own people killed him, congressmen await Rahul. I am not sure of his likes or dislikes, but he is already a member of parliament and a politician. His Mom is in control of Congress and he has some experience in being a politician, and he is after all a Gandhi.

The three-day All India Congress Plenary is expected to bring Amethi parliamentarian Rahul Gandhi to the center-stage of Congress politics, which he has sought to evade for many years now.It is evident that there is a clamor among party cadres and leaders to induct the 34-year-old son of Congress President Sonia Gandhi into the high-powered Congress Working Committee and entrust him with organizational responsibility so as to groom him for taking over the reins of the party at a later stage.
The mood in the party seems to be in favor of not delaying any further the launch of the high-profile first-time parliamentarian into active politics.Though Sonia revamped the 25-member CWC, the highest policy making body of the 120-year-old party, ahead of the AICC plenary, she has left five seats vacant. This is seen by political observers as a clear move to accommodate Rahul, and four 'Generation Next' leaders of his choice into the CWC.Rahul Gandhi is the only person other than Sonia, Prime Minister Man Mohan Singh, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy and Pradesh Congress Committee President K Kesava Rao whose pictures figure in the plenary hoardings and posters put up all over the 'Pearl City'. Sonia has reportedly received requests from several PCCs and Pradesh Youth Congress Committees, asking her to nominate Rahul to the CWC.There were also speculations that Priyanka Vadra, the daughter of the Congress president, was keeping away from the plenary only to allow her brother to bask in the limelight. In all likelihood, Sonia will nominate Rahul after the AICC plenary.Prime Minister Singh has reportedly expressed a desire to induct Rahul into his ministry in the impending expansion of his Council of Ministers but the young parliamentarian is apparently unwilling to accept a ministerial responsibility at this stage. Congress managers say he would like to first work for the party before taking up an assignment in the government. Leaders close to the Gandhi family are also in favor of Rahul first taking up an organizational responsibility, like his father Rajiv Gandhi.The plenary may have significance in many ways but what party workers and the AICC delegates are keenly looking forward to be whether Rahul will oblige them by accepting an organizational responsibility.

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