Alliances issue likely to come up in big way at Cong meet

An indication that there is a re-thinking in the party over 'go it alone policy' was evident with the recent setting up of an election coordination committee with Rahul Gandhi heading the high-level panel.

One of the three sub-groups set up along with the high-powered committee is to deal with the issue of alliances with Defence Minister A K Antony at the helm.

There is a growing feeling in the party that the alliances cannot be wished away at this juncture as coalition era is here to stay.

Senior party leader and Finance Minister P Chidambaram had only recently said that alliances are inevitable.

"Let us do a reality check. The reality is that there are many many political parties especially at the state level. Alliances are inevitable. If you do not have a pre-poll alliance, you end up with a post-poll alliance.

"In fact, there is hardly any government in India today, except may be one or two which are not coalition governments. Therefore, a committee to explore pre-poll alliances is an acknowledgement of the political reality," he had said.

He was replying to a question about the Congress forming a committee to look at the issue of pre-poll alliances and whether it suggests that the party is desperate for allies.

After securing more than 200 seats in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections and improving its tally substantially, Congress has failed to make a mark in some key assembly elections including in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Tamil Nadu despite the go alone chorus.