It’s official that the Congress Working Committee will be meeting on October 16 to deliberate on many issues and after demands from many quarters for elections it may give the nod to organisational polls, sources said.
The Congress has not had a regular president since the resignation of Rahul Gandhi in 2019 and from August that year Sonia Gandhi has been the party’s interim president. Congress G-23 leaders have time and again raised the issue of organizational polls in the party.
The Central Election Authority has already submitted the list of voters and has prepared digital cards for AICC members who can vote in the party’s presidential elections. However, the G-23 has demanded a fresh voters’ list which could see a face-off between loyalists and reformists within the party.
The CWC can remove or appoint a new president but a two-thirds majority is required for making changes. The working committee appointed Sonia Gandhi as President in 1998 when it removed then party chief Sitaram Kesri.
The G-23 sources say that they have time to prepare a strategy and push their agenda in the CWC. However, the group is in a minority in the CWC and it is unlikely that they can push anything without the approval of Sonia Gandhi.
The sources say that if Rahul Gandhi agrees to contest the elections, then it is unlikely there will be a contest but if he pushes any proxy then there will be a contest.
“Ghulam Nabi Azad had written a letter to Sonia Gandhi for a CWC meet but the group is in a minority and it is unlikely that they can push for any resolution of their choice,” a source said. The CWC constitution says, “The Working Committee shall consist of the President of the Congress, the Leader of the Congress Party in Parliament, and 23 other members of whom 12 members will be elected by the AICC, as per rules prescribed by the Working Committee and the rest shall be appointed by the President. The quorum for a meeting of the Working Committee shall be eight.” Meanwhile, all special invitees have been summoned as well.
Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mukul Wasnik and Anand Sharma, who were signatories to the letter written to Sonia Gandhi last year for visible and effective leadership and reforms in the party, are among the CWC members.
The G-23 leaders have recently raised the pitch in the wake of some high-profile exits from the party, noting that the issues they raised have not been dealt with so far.
Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal had launched an attack on the party leadership, asking who was taking decisions in the party. He said that the demand for organisational elections has not been met even a year after the letter was written.