UPA coordination committee to meet Aug 8
New Delhi, Aug 6 (IANS) The first meeting of the UPA coordination committee, formed following the Congress's stand-off with coalition partner NCP, will be held Aug 8 to coincide with the start of the monsoon session of parliament.
Congress sources here said the party members in the panel will include Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who will head the panel, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Defence Minister A.K. Antony, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram and Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde.
Rashtriya Lok Dal chief Ajit Singh, Indian Union Muslim League leader E. Ahamed, and National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah will also be members, while the names of representatives from the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Trinamool Congress are awaited.
Congress sources said the two parties are yet to name their leaders for the meeting but NCP chief Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar was likely to represent his party while the Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee could represent her party.
The decision to form coordination committee was taken last month after NCP ministers Pawar and Praful Patel threatened to pull out of the UPA government after expressing unhappiness over "some aspects of working" of the coalition government .
NCP's grouse was that it was "not consulted" on key policy decisions and political appointments.
The party leaders had also sought a revamp of coordination mechanism in Maharashtra where it shares power with the Congress.
The UPA coordination mechanism is expected to meet at least once a month "to discuss policy and other issues".
Congress sources said that the coordination panel will help iron out differences and prevent public sparring on policy issues as allies can raise their concerns before decisions were announced.
In the past, Trinamool Congress has vetoed some crucial decisions of the UPA government such as allowing FDI in multi-brand retail.
The sources said a coordination committee of alliance partners has been formed for the first time. During UPA-I, there was a coordination committee between Congress and Left parties.
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