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Wednesday, Dec 10, 2003

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An occasion to change the depressing mood

By Our Special Correspondent



The Congress president, Sonia Gandhi, being greeted by her supporters on her birthday at her residence in New Delhi on Tuesday. — Photo: Rajeev Bhatt

NEW DELHI DEC. 9. The Congress members today turned the party president, Sonia Gandhi's 58th birthday into an occasion to change the mood in the party, which suffered a major setback in the recent assembly elections.

From the manner in which enthusiastic party workers descended in large numbers on Ms. Gandhi's residence to greet her, it appeared that the Congress had overcome the depressing defeat.

The crowds forced Ms. Gandhi to come out to the lawns and meet them.

Folk dancers and drums turned the atmosphere festive. Besides senior party leaders, several Chief Ministers of Congress ruled States were also present. Interestingly, the rival factions in Delhi saw an opportunity to make it a show of strength. There were reports that some senior Delhi leaders made efforts to ensure that the newly-elected MLAs from the Capital made it to 10 Janpath along with them.

After meeting the workers, Ms. Gandhi proceeded to Parliament to chair the meeting of the Congress Parliamentary Party where the party MPs greeted her.

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