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Cong review committee to examine poll debacle

New Delhi: After Rahul Gandhi reviewed the Uttar Pradesh poll debacle, another review committee led by senior leader A K Antony would go into the causes of the Congress rout in UP and Goa as also the shock defeat in Punjab and the performance in Uttarakhand.

The review committee which also comprises Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit and Union Minister Sushilkumar Shinde is expected to give its report to the party chief by the month end.

Party sources said the constitution of the informal committee by the Congress chief sometime back showed that the party wants to set its house in order by taking lessons from the Assembly polls to make the party battle ready ahead of the Lok Sabha elections in 2014.

Incidentally, Antony had led the high-level committee constituted by Sonia Gandhi to go into the causes of the party?s debacle in the 1999 Lok Sabha elections.

The Defence Minister is also heading the Central Disciplinary Action Committee of the party and is a member of the key Congress Core Group which has which is headed by the party chief and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh among its members. The Antony Committee has already met some senior leaders from Uttarakhand and Punjab and is expected to meet leaders from UP in the next two-three days.

A drastic overhaul of the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee is on the cards and plans are afoot to divide the state organisationally in four to five zones so as to get the party`s act together at a time when regional parties Samajwadi Party and the BSP are calling the shots for the past decade in the state`s politics.

After reviewing the Uttar Pradesh poll debacle, Rahul Gandhi had on Friday warned against indiscipline in Congress and vowed to bring the party back to good days in the state. Winding up the two-day exercise, Gandhi had declared he is not the one to accept defeat and that he would turn the party`s fortunes in the state.

The Congress meeting felt the "confusion" over the minority quota cost the party dear. The party`s poor showing in Amethi and Rae Bareli, the pocket boroughs of the Nehru-Gandhi family, also figured at the meeting.

Gandhi said the party`s seats, as also the percentage of votes, has increased and now it should be Congress` endeavour to become the alternative in the state. "Don`t expect kid gloves treatment from now on.It will be firm steps," was the message of Gandhi at the review meeting which concluded on Friday.

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