- Decision in meeting of Congress Working Committee – Election of new president will be done within 6 months.
- Working committee meeting started at 11 am on 24th August, during which Sonia expressed her desire to step down.
The Congress Working Committee met for 7 hours on Monday to decide the new president, but they could not arrive at a concrete decision. At the beginning of the meeting, Sonia Gandhi had expressed her desire to step down as the interim president, yet she still has to take up this responsibility for another six months. It has been decided that the new chairman will be selected within 6 months. It was also decided in the meeting that the next session of the Congress Committee will be convened at the earliest, so that the process of selection of the new president can be started at the earliest.
Sonia said – there are differences, but, ultimately, we are one.
Sonia said at the end of the meeting that, “we are a big family. We too have differences on many occasions, but, in the end, we are all together. Now, the need of the hour is to fight against such forces of people, who are weakening this country. Let’s move forward. I do not have any ill feelings for the people who wrote the letter, because that too is my family”.
Punia said that Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mukul Wasnik, and Anand Sharma have said in writing that there is no dispute about party leadership. The party has the freedom to put forth its views, but it should be discussed in the party forum and not in the public domain. Many members have expressed their concern over this.
Ruckus on Rahul’s statement in the meeting, Congress controls damage in four and a half hours
When the meeting of the party’s largest organization, Congress Working Committee, or CWC, started on Monday, Sonia Gandhi offered to step down as the interim president. Only after this, former President Rahul Gandhi questioned the timing of the letter the leaders sent to Sonia. Rahul alleged that the party leaders did all this in connivance with the BJP. Hardly twenty minutes after Rahul Gandhi made this statement, the members started protesting against the same.
Among the protesters were Ghulam Nabi Azad and Kapil Sibal. The Congress later said that Rahul had not spoken a word similar to ‘collusion with the BJP’. Subsequently, Sibal retracted his tweet and Ghulam Nabi Azad his statement.
About 15 days ago, 23 party leaders wrote a letter to Sonia Gandhi and said that the BJP is continuously moving forward. In the last elections, the youths strongly voted for Narendra Modi. Leadership in Congress should be full time and its effect should also be seen.
What happened at the CWC meeting on Monday?
- Sonia Gandhi offered to step down as interim president and said that they should start the process of replacing her. According to media reports, during this time, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and senior leader AK Antony asked her to continue in the post.
- Recently, Rahul Gandhi expressed his displeasure over the letter of Congress leaders regarding the change in party leadership. He said that when Sonia Gandhi was admitted in the hospital, why was the letter sent about party leadership. The letter demanding change in party leadership was written in connivance with BJP.
- Rahul’s allegations of ‘collusion with the BJP’ were discussed. Barely within 20-25 minutes, former Minister Kapil Sibal tweeted, ‘We fought the Congress Party’s case successfully in the Rajasthan High Court. Never in the last 30 years, has a statement been made in the favour of BJP on any issue. Still we are in collusion with BJP?’
- Shortly thereafter, Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said that ‘I will resign if Rahul Gandhi’s allegations of complicity with BJP are proved’.
- Former Congress leader Divya Spandana said that ‘I think Rahulji made a mistake. He should have not said that Congress leaders sent this letter with the connivance of BJP and media. He said that not only was the letter leaked in the media, but the conversation of the ongoing CWC meeting is being leaked minute by minute in the media. It is amazing”.
- Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said, from 1:30 in the afternoon that Rahul had not spoken a word like or similar to ‘collusion with BJP’.
- Ghulam Nabi Azad gave a clarification at 3:50 pm on the allegation of collusion with the BJP. He said that Rahul Gandhi never said that. Neither in CWC nor outside it.
- The meeting ended at 6 pm. In this meeting which lasted for 7 hours, it was decided that only Sonia will take charge of the post of Interim President. A new president will be elected within 6 months.
Rahul Gandhi, who became the interim president in August last year, has already refused to take the responsibility of party president. He resigned from the post after the party’s defeat in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Sonia has held the post of interim president for a year in August.
BJP on the Congress discord
Madhya Pradesh minister Narottam Mishra said that there are many qualified candidates for the post of president in the Congress. These include Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi, Rehan Vadra and Miraya Vadra. Activists should understand that the Congress is like a school where only the headmaster’s children come on top in the class. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan said that the right talker in Congress is a traitor. Sole lickers are loyal to the Congress. When this situation of the party happens, no one can save it. On the other hand, Uma Bharti said, ‘The existence of Gandhi-Nehru family is in crisis. Their political domination has ended. Therefore, who now occupies the post or doesn’t, does not matter. Congress should return to Swadeshi Gandhi without any foreign element’.
What was the cause of this crisis?
1. The party’s base is shrinking: Sonia Gandhi was the president in the 2014 elections. In this election, the Congress could get only 44 seats, lowest seats in its history. Rahul Gandhi was the president during the 2019 elections. The party could win only 52 seats then.
2. Cadre weakened: Congress cadre has weakened in the country. By 2010, where the number of members of the party was four crore, now it has reduced to less than one crore. In other states including Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Manipur, the pull of leaders in the Congress has had an impact on party workers.
3. Congress government in 6 states: Congress government survived in Chhattisgarh, Puducherry, Punjab, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Maharashtra. Kamal Nath government fell in Madhya Pradesh after Jyotiraditya Scindia’s rebellion.
Congress has been through some difficult times in the recent days. After the rebellion in Madhya Pradesh and the closely avoided crisis of Rajasthan government, Congress needs to take strong steps in rebuilding its image in the country.