Sonia Gandhi will hold the meeting on Saturday at her 10, Janpath residence to discuss quick implementation of the scheme intended to benefit millions. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will also be present at the meeting. The party machinery in different states has been asked to give adequate information to the masses regarding the food security programme and expose the anti-poor stance of the Opposition.
Congress party is giving top billing to the food security programme and hopes that schemes such as MGNREGA, RTI, RTE and farmers' loan waiver too, will definitely strengthen their chances for yet another electoral victory.
“Sonia Gandhi has decided to convene a meeting of all our party chief ministers and party functionaries to hold a brain-storming session on the implementation of the right to food that has been launched with the promulgation of the ordinance on the food bill,” said a Congress leader.
The meeting, which will include top cabinet ministers, Congress chief ministers, AICC general secretaries and state Congress chiefs, will firm up a political strategy for the party's government and organisational wings at the Centre and in the states to jointly mobilise a nationwide campaign to highlight the scheme and mount pressure on the opposition to cooperate with the government to pass the food bill in the monsoon session of Parliament, expected in August. The conclave will be addressed by Sonia Gandhi and her son and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and senior Congress cabinet ministers at the Centre.
The Congress has 14 CMs. The party is also sharing power with National Conference in J&K and will soon join a JMMled government in Jharkhand. Apart from party leaders of Congress-ruled states, party leaders in opposition-ruled states will also be called to the conclave. The gathering will also firm up an action plan to take on the opposition, especially the BJP, which has come out strongly against the cabinet's decision to opt for the ordinance route on the food bill. The Congress leadership thinks the party should mobile a campaign that should not only spread the benefits of the food scheme, but also highlight the fact that it was one of the key promised in the Congress manifesto for the 2009 polls.