Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi at a party briefing. (Image: Reuters)
A meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC ) began on January 22 with party chief Sonia Gandhi delivering the opening remarks on farmers’ protest, coronavirus pandemic, upcoming state elections, and party’s internal elections.
The party's top executive body has approved a proposal to hold organisational elections in June 2021
"There will be a new elected Congress president in June 2021. This change in schedule has been done due to upcoming state assembly elections,"KC Venugopal, Congress general secretary said in a press conference after the CWC meeting. Venugopal said that all CWC leaders unanimously decided to hold elections in June.
"First of all Congress president election will held and then the election for CWC members will be held. That is the usual process. We will share the scheduled in coming days," he said.
The Congress's election authority had suggested that the internal elections be held before May end. But, the Congress party said, many leaders suggested to hold elections only when state assembly elections are over.
This means Sonia Gandhi continues to be interim president of the party for about six more months. Assembly elections in many states, including West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Assam, are due in April-May.
The CWC passed a three- point resolution seeking repeal of the contentions farm laws, thanking scientists while appealing to people to come forward for COVID-19 vaccination and demanding a probe by Joint Parliamentary Committee into the WhatsApp chat leak.
CWC meeting begins.
Today’s CWC meeting was held five months after Sonia Gandhi had asked her party to relieve her of the president’s post in August last year. She had offered to step down at the CWC meet following a letter by 23 senior party leaders demanding an “active, full-time and visible” president.
The then CWC meet had resolved that Sonia Gandhi would remain party's interim president for next six months during which time an AICC session would be called to elect a new chief. Thus, the elections were due in February this year.
READ| Sonia Gandhi says govt shown shocking insensitivity on farmers' issue, terms consultations a charade
The virtual meeting started with Sonia Gandhi's opening remarks on continued farmers' protest accusing the government of showing insensitivity and arrogance while ‘going through the charade of consultations’.
“It is abundantly clear that the three laws were prepared in haste and Parliament was consciously denied an opportunity for examining in any meaningful details their implications and impacts. Our position has been very clear from the very beginning: we reject them categorically because they will destroy the foundations of food security that are based on the three pillars of MSP, public procurement, and PDS,” Gandhi said, according to a Congress statement.
The Congress chief said that she hopes the process of vaccination will continue and be completed to the fullest extent.
“The government has inflicted untold suffering on the people of our country by the manner in which it has managed the COVID-19 pandemic. It will take years for the scars to heal,” she said.
Sources said that many congress leaders, including Anand Sharma, one of the signatories of the letter, demanded internal elections during the CWC meet. The Congress party denied any differences during the CWC meet.