The Congress will hold its 85th plenary session from February 24 to 26 in Raipur and election for the Congress Working Committee, as per the demand of the G-23 group in the party. The three-day plenary session of the Congress is going to be attended by over 10,000 people. The plenary session is considered crucial for the Congress since Assembly elections are to be held in five states along with Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh this year and the Lok Sabha elections are to be held in 2024. The grand old party will be attempting to chalk out a solid strategy to corner the Central government before the upcoming elections. Six issues related to politics, economics, international affairs, agriculture, social justice and youth employment will also be discussed in the session.
In October, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge had set up a 47-member steering committee, which included his predecessors Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in place of the CWC. After Kharge took over the reins of the party, all the members of the CWC, the party’s highest decision-making authority, AICC general secretaries and in-charges, had tendered their resignation. The key question is whether Shashi Tharoor after contesting the Congress presidential polls, and getting only over 1,000 votes, will be included in the CWC. There are 23 seats in the CWC comprising 12 elected members and 11 nominated by the President.
Who will be in Kharge’s team 23? Will there be many Rahul Gandhi loyalists? Whether the nominee list will have new faces or veterans or be hand-picked by the Congress president? These are the questions that will define the power play in the party in days to come. Tharoor, though a hat-trick winner to the Lok Sabha from the Thiruvananthapuram constituency, is yet to get any sort of acceptance from the party leaders allied to the Gandhi family, including from home state Kerala, notwithstanding that he enjoys a huge acceptance, especially from the youth, the intelligentsia, and from women segment. The CWC election is set to ruffle the power equation within the Congress party.
The G23 clarion call had put the CWC back in focus as they demanded that elections to the crucial body take place. With the plenary session all set to ratify the new party president Malikarjun Kharge, at Raipur, all eyes would also be on Ashok Gehlot, politician among politicians who has, so far, successfully defied the Congress high command and stayed on as the chief minister of Rajasthan. Would Gehlot contest CWC polls? If Gehlot avoids contesting, he is unlikely to be nominated as CWC member. Post November 2023, Gehlot would cease to be a special invitee in CWC if he fails to get another term as the chief minister. So it would be prudent for him to be in the CWC for a political life beyond November-December 2023.
Leave a Reply