CWC meet

Election for Congress chief to be concluded by September 2022

Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Ashok Gehlot, Bhupesh Baghel and Charanjit Channi attend the CWC meeting

Aditi Tandon

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 16

The Congress Working Committee (CWC) on Saturday decided that the election to the post of Congress president will be concluded by September 2022.

The CWC passed three resolutions — Political, against inflation and on farmers. It attacked the Centre for deteriorating internal and external security situation, the Lakhimpur Kheri killings and the recent BSF notification and resolved to work with like minded parties to force the government to repeal the BSF order.

“The CWC unanimously asked Sonia Gandhi to continue as party chief until the next president’s election,” AICC media head Randeep Surjewala said.

During a five-and-a-half-hour long meeting of the CWC, which is the party’s highest decision-making body, several leaders, including chief ministers Ashok Gehlot of Rajasthan, Bhupesh Baghel of Chhattisgarh and Charanjit Singh Channi of Punjab urged Rahul Gandhi to take over as the president.

“Many leaders of the CWC also proposed that Rahul Gandhi should take over the party chief’s role, Rahul Gandhi thanked leaders for the affection,” Surjewala said.

The CWC meeting in progress.

All senior leaders, including AK Antony, Ambika Soni, Ghulam Nabi Azad, P Chidambaram, Anand Sharma, Harish Rawat, KC Venugopal, Randeep Surjewala, Priyanka Vadra, Jairam Ramesh and Ajay Maken attending the meeting.

Chief ministers of Punjab Charanjit Singh Channi, Chhattisgarh Bhupesh Baghel and Rajasthan Ashok Gehlot were also present.

The last meeting of the CWC, held on January 22, had postponed the organisational elections until the Covid situation eased.

Today’s meeting is the first in a physical format since Covid outbreak.

The CWC meeting in progress.

Of late, the Congress has been faced with massive factionalism across state units in Punjab, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan and the pro-revamp G-23 group has been active.

In Punjab, trouble continues between state party chief Navjot Singh Sidhu and chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi; in Chhattisgarh health minister TS Singh Deo is reminding the party of its promise to rotate the CM’s post after two and a half years of rule; in Rajasthan, former deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot is seeking accommodation while CM Ashok Gehlot looks the other way.

On September 29, G-23 leaders Kapil Sibal and Azad had demanded a CWC meeting urgently to discuss the challenges and also why leaders like Sushmita Dev were leaving the Congress.

“In our party at the moment there is no president. So we don't know who is making these decisions. We know and yet we don't know," Sibal had said, adding that it was ironic how those who have left the Congress are the closest aides of Gandhis while those they think are not close to them are still in the Congress.

The CWC will also discuss the prevailing political situation in the country and the ongoing farmers’ protest.

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