CWC meeting likely to extend Sonia Gandhi’s term by a year

New Delhi, Sep 7 (IANS) The Congress Working Committee (CWC) is likely to extend term of party president Sonia Gandhi by a year at its meeting on Tuesday, party sources said.

The CWC, which is the Congress’ highest decision-making body, will also discuss the present political situation in the country.

The term of Gandhi, who has been at the helm for 17 years, will end in December and the party is likely to hold organisational elections next year.

There had been demands within the party earlier that party vice president Rahul Gandhi should be elevated as the president but the party appears to have decided to make the change at an appropriate time later.

Rahul Gandhi was elevated as vice president in January 2013 and has been aggressively taking on the Narendra Modi government on a range of issues over the past few months since his return from a sabbatical.

Sonia Gandhi, who took over reigns of Congress in 1998, is already the longest serving president of the party.

The sources said that the CWC is likely to discuss proposal to reduce term of Congress president from the present five years to three years. There is also suggestion that members of frontal organisations such as the Indian Youth Congress and the mahila Congress should also be considered members of the Congress to boost the party’s membership.

“The CWC is likely to approve proposal to extend term of all the committees including the All India Congress Committee and the Pradesh Congress Committees by one year,” a party leader, ehho did not want to be identified, told IANS.

He said that the party will subsequently write to the Election Commission informing it that it will complete the process of organisational elections next year.

The CWC meeting comes weeks ahead of the crucial assembly elections in Bihar where the Congress is in alliance with the Janata Dal-United and Rashtriya Janata Dal and contesting on 40 seats.

There has been talk in the party that any change in leadership before the Bihar elections would not be appropriate as the election was tough and there was no certainty about party’s prospects.

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