Congress Working Committee to meet on August 24

Congress president Sonia Gandhi. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

The Congress Working Committee (CWC), the highest-decision making body of the party, will meet on August 24, party general secretary K.C. Venugopal said on August 22.

The meeting comes amid a churn over the leadership question but the party didn't announce the formal agenda of the meeting.

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"A meeting of the Congress Working Committee will be held on Monday, the 24th August, 2020 at 11.00 AM via video conferencing," Mr. Venugopal tweeted.

In the backdrop of a renewed debate over the issue of leadership and a full time president, the meeting assumes great significance in terms of direction and the future of the party.

Despite the official denial, The Hindu has learnt that a section of senior leaders have formally conveyed their concern about the party's functioning and the ‘sense of drift’, with the party.

Privately, the same set of leaders have been arguing that former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, despite his public stance of a non-Gandhi heading the Congress, "has neither completely given up control nor is prepared to take back the reins of the party formally".

However, on August 19, party spokespersons Randeep Surjewala and Shaktisinh Gohil asserted that “millions of Congress workers want Mr. Gandhi back at the top post as he is the only one who has been consistently taken on the Narendra Modi government”.

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Given the divisions over the leadership question, the party may explore different options: First, urge Sonia Gandhi to continue until a proper Congress session elects a new full time president post the coronavirus pandemic. However, there are concerns if the requirements of a full-time party president will impact her health.

The second option, backed by a large number of younger leaders, is to ask Mr. Gandhi to take over but a close aide of him told this reporter that the former party chief is not yet ready to take back his old job.

As a compromise between old guard and young leaders, a third option could be to choose leaders of the stature like Dr. Manmohan Singh or A.K. Antony if their health permits.

Also read | Should the Gandhis disengage from the Congress?

A senior leader, however, told this reporter that more than the leadership, the party could focus on revamping the organisation including appointing new general secretaries and relieving some of the existing ones.

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Printable version | Nov 30, 2020 5:29:19 PM |

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