Congress to get new president by next September

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on October 16, 2021

Congress Interim President Sonia Gandhi with party leader Rahul Gandhi and others during the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting to discuss the current political situation, upcoming Assembly polls, and organisational elections, at AICC headquarters in New Delhi, Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021. -PTI

The CWC urges the Centre to withdraw the three farm laws and control the prices of petroleum products and essential items

The Congress Working Committee (CWC), met here on Saturday to discuss the current political situation, forthcoming Assembly elections and organisational elections, have prepared a one-year-long timeline to complete the organisational poll. The party will elect a new president before September 20, 2022.

Talking to reporters after the four-hour-long meeting, AICC general secretary in charge of organisation KC Venugopal said massive training programme on Congress ideology, policies and election management will also be launched for leaders and workers from next month onwards. He said the training will be regular and continuous for the members of the party.

The process for organisational elections will begin from November 1, when the party will start enrolling members on payment of ₹ 5. The membership drive will continue till March 31, 2022. The District Congress Committees will publish preliminary list of members and eligible contestants by April 15. The election of presidents of booth committees and the block committees will be held between April 16 and May 31. The leaders of DCC will be elected between June 1 and July 20 and the State units, the Pradesh Congress Committees, will elect its presidents, other leaders and AICC members from July 20, 2022 to August 20. "The election of AICC president will be held from August 20, 2022 to September 20. CWC members and AICC office-bearers will be elected later," Venugopal added.

Dig at rebels

Earlier, addressing CWC members, Congress president Sonia Gandhi took a dig at the rebels in the party, known as G-23. The group has been demanding that the party needs a 24X7 president. “I am, if you will allow me to say so, a full-time and hands on Congress President. In the last two years, a large number of our colleagues, particularly the younger ones have taken on leadership roles in taking party policies and programmes to the people--whether it be the agitation of farmers, provision of relief during the pandemic, highlighting issues of concern to youth and women, atrocities on dalits, adivasis and minorities, price rise, and the destruction of the public sector. Never have we let issues of public importance and concern go unaddressed. You are aware that I have been taking them up with the Prime Minister as have Manmohan Singh and Rahul Gandhi. I have been interacting with like-minded political parties regularly. We have issued joint statements on national issues and coordinated our strategy in Parliament as well,” she told the meeting and added that she has always appreciated frankness. “There is no need to speak to me through the media. So let us all have a free and honest discussion. But what should get communicated outside the four walls of this room is the collective decision of the CWC,” she reminded the rebels.

There was a clamour in the meeting urging Rahul Gandhi to take of the president's post yet again. He seems to have told the CWC that he will consider their request.

A political resolution adopted at the meeting said the continued slide in the economy is a matter of great concern. “After the sharp decline in 2020-21, the Modi Government boasted of a V-shaped recovery. All signs point to an uneven and struggling recovery in different sectors. The jobs that were lost during the recession and the pandemic have not been recovered; the micro and small units that were shut down have not been re-started. Millions of families face the twin hardships of unemployment and high prices,” it said and added that the country’s financial situation is in terrible shape.

“The Modi Government has no compunction in running the government on revenues raised through crushing taxes imposed on petrol and diesel. In order to hide the precarious state of its finances, the Modi government has launched a fire sale of the assets built in this country over 70 years. It is widely believed that the most valuable among these assets in ports, airports, petroleum, power and telecommunications will be sold to select business houses that are cronies of the Modi Government," the resolution said.

The CWC, through two other resolutions, urged the Centre to withdraw the three farm laws and control the prices of petroleum products and essential items.

Published on October 16, 2021

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