New Delhi: The meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC), the apex decision-making body of the ruling party, began here Monday with the country's economic situation high on the agenda.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi were among the senior leaders attending the meet."We have on our agenda the political and the economic situation.

Other matters raised by party workers are also likely to be discussed," Congress leader Janardan Dwidedi told reporters ahead of the meet. The extended CWC meeting is also being attended by party chief ministers, state party chiefs and special and permanent invitees to the working committee.

The CWC meeting comes at a time when the party's fortunes have taken a beating across crucial states and the party has to decide its presidential nominee. According to party sources, the impact of the recent petrol hike, price rise and problems of the party in Andhra Pradesh are expected to be discussed at the CWC meeting.

The meeting comes a day after the protest by yoga guru Baba Ramdev and Team Anna against the government on the issue of corruption. Team Anna has demanded a probe into allegations of wrong-doing against the prime minister in the allocation of coal blocks when he was in charge of the ministry.

The meeting is likely to take stock of the party's performance in the assembly polls in five states, including Uttar Pradesh, earlier this year and its preparations for the assembly polls later this year in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat.

With economic parameters, including rising inflation and the depreciating value of the rupee causing concern among the common man and threatening to impact the "aam aadmi" (common man) plank of the Congress, the CWC meeting is expected to deliberate ways to raise its stock among people.

(Agencies)

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