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CWC to meet tomorrow, may discuss internal poll

Congress president Sonia Gandhi. File   | Photo Credit: ANI

The Congress Working Committee will meet on Friday to firm up the dates of the organisational elections, discuss the farmers’ agitation and the strategy for the Parliament session that gets under way on January 29.

The party’s highest decision-making body is likely to meet virtually, said a source on Wednesday.

Fixing the schedule for the internal polls including the president’s post and the CWC is likely to top the agenda as organisational revamp has been a key demand of the group of 23 dissenters.

The G-23 that included seniormost leaders like Ghulam Nabi Azad, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Kapil Sibal, Anand Sharma, Manish Tewari, Anand Sharma, Prithviraj Chavan, Shashi Tharoor and Mukul Wasnik, had written to party president Sonia Gandhi last August for a complete revamp after the party faced successive electoral setbacks.

In September, Ms. Gandhi constituted a five-member central election authority (CEA) to conduct the internal polls.

The panel is headed by Madhusudan Mistry with Rajesh Mishra, Krishna Byre Gowda, S Jothimani and Arvinder Singh Lovely as members.

A tentative election schedule is ready but needs to be approved by the the CWC before the party can complete the process of holding polls by February.

Though a section of leaders has been pushing for former party chief Rahul Gandhi to take back the reins, there is no clarity on whether he will contest the elections.

The need to hold polls arises from the fact that Ms. Gandhi was appointed as the party’s interim president in August 2019 after then chief Rahul Gandhi stepped down holding himself accountable for the 2019 Lok Sabha poll debacle.

If Mr. Gandhi doesn’t agree to be the party chief again, then loyalists of the family want Ms. Gandhi to continue until 2022 when fresh internal elections will have to be held. They hope to convince Mr. Gandhi to be back at the helm by then, said a source.

The elections for the Congress president took place last was in 2000 when Jitendra Prasada unsuccessfully contested against Ms. Gandhi. And the last elections to the CWC took place in 1997 during Sitaram Kesri’s tenure as party chief.

According to the party constitution, 12 of the 25 members have to be elected by delegates of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) while the rest are nominated by the president.

The CWC will also discuss the course of action on the farmers’ agitation and strategy for the Budget session.

The Congress has demanded the repeal of all the three farm laws and has extended full support to the farmers.

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Printable version | Mar 6, 2021 10:47:32 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/cwc-to-meet-tomorrow-may-discuss-internal-poll/article33621413.ece

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