Sonia compensates for low woman power! (Plenary Snippets)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

NEW DELHI - Though Congress president Sonia Gandhi repeatedly emphasises her commitment to 33 percent reservation for women in the Lok Sabha, it was hardly reflected at the party plenary Sunday.

Of the nearly 100 top leaders seated on the dais, less than 10 were women. Among the 1,200 people in the Congress members’ section, not more than 20 percent were women.

Besides party chief Sonia Gandhi, other women leaders on the dais included Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, Vidya Stokes, Rita Bahuguna Joshi and Jayanti Natarajan.

Asked about the under-representation of women, a Congress member said: “If we have Sonia Gandhi alone, it is enough and more. It adds more weight than any other Congress leader.”


Rs.15 crore spent on plenary?

The arrangements at the 83rd Congress plenary seemed simple but elaborate, and event managers said the cost of organising the two-day meet was about Rs.15 crore (over $3 million).

There were giant cutouts, seating arrangements were on the floor as is customary, and the colours of the Congress flag - saffron, white and green - were splashed all over. The big tents were also erected in the party colours, as were the pillars.

“We have erected a simple stage where right from the Congress president, Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other senior leaders, were seated down with ‘diwans’ (mattresses) to showcase our culture and the tradition,” a Delhi Congress member told IANS.

Party leaders were, of course, tightlipped about the expenditure!


Mahatma, Subhas Bose - and standalone Rahul too!

A hoarding with pictures of 12 Congress leaders made for a colourful backdrop to the stage at the party plenary session.

Images of Mahatma Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi were in place alongside images of past leaders like Subhas Chandra Bose, Sarojini Naidu, Sardar Vallabbhai Patel, B.R. Ambedkar, Abul Kalam Azad and Lal Bahadur Shastri.

A king-size, standalone cutout of Rahul Gandhi got special prominence close to the

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