Sonia Gandhi Meets Top Party Leaders Ahead of Poll Results

The Congress leadership on Saturday, 18 May, got its act together with Sonia Gandhi stepping in and formulating the party's strategy for government formation.

Sources said Congress leaders led by Sonia Gandhi, party Chief Rahul Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, held deliberations with Ahmed Patel, AK Antony and others as they geared up for a possible hung Parliament.

The Congress is leaving nothing to chance and is sniffing at government formation, as it has stepped up activity to stake its claim for forming the next government.

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi has convened another meeting of senior party leaders on 22 May, a day before the counting of votes, the sources said.

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Top party leaders also started deliberations with other non-NDA parties in a bid to bring them all together as part of a joint alliance, in a bid to form UPA-3.

With Sonia Gandhi holding a meeting of top party leaders at her residence today, the Congress hopes to keep the BJP and Narendra Modi at bay from power in case the NDA fails to get a majority.

Rahul Gandhi has said his party will use the experience of Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh to their advantage.

He had told PTI that Sonia Gandhi will play a crucial role in bringing non-NDA parties together and in the formation of the next government.

Today's meeting assumes significance as Sonia Gandhi had so far remained away from political activity due to health reasons.

The Congress is in touch with other party leaders in cobbling together an alliance that it could lead and form the next government.

Earlier in the day, Rahul Gandhi met TDP leader N Chandrababu Naidu, and other Congress leaders are also holding deliberations with leaders from other parties.

He has asked Patel, Antony and others such as Ashok Gehlot, Kamal Nath and P Chidambaram to hold talks with other parties. They have been camping in Delhi and strategizing.

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