Congress tides over difficult year

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SummaryA section in the Congress believes that Modi could be a polarising figure and unite the Muslims behind the party.

him. Singh, a five-time Chief Minister, later led the Congress to victory in his home state of Himachal Pradesh.

The year saw the death of Union Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, a former Maharashtra Chief Minister and one of the seniormost leaders from Maharashtra.

A significant development after UPA's chief troubleshooter Pranab Mukherjee headed to Rashtrapati Bhavan was making Defence Minister A K Antony the number two in the government.

Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde was brought in the Home Ministry and P Chidambaram was moved to Finance as the Prime Minister became pro-active on reforms after constantly facing criticism of policy paralysis. October witnessed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh bringing into the government 17 new faces and three promotions.

With the New Year about to ring in, the Congressmen can hope to have some reasons to be optimistic about its fortunes.

Challenges and crises, accusations and acrimony and scandals and scams were the order of the day for a couple of years but things now appeared to have started looking up for the ruling coalition.

The victory on the controversial issue of FDI in retail in Parliament just secured by the Congress and its government is one such instance.

The talk of direct cash transfers and generation of fresh ideas at the Chintan Shivir in Jaipur next month ahead of the Lok Sabha polls has brought new hopes for Congress and the worry is receding over various scams including Commonwealth Games scandal and Adarsh Housing scam.

By the year end, Congress started preparations for the battle ahead by making Rahul head of the powerful Election Coordination Committee.

Changes in the AICC secretariat are expected anytime now which is expected to bring out the 'war team' of the party ahead of the next battle of the ballot.

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