New Congress President to be Elected in June, Decision After CWC Meeting

Congress Party president will be elected after the state polls of five states, both Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi opt out of the top position.
New Congress President to be Elected in June, Decision After CWC Meeting

NEW DELHI: The Congress Working Committee (CWC) has decided that there will be a new elected Congress president in June 2021. The new Congress president will be elected in June after the state elections of five states of Assam, West Bengal, Kerala, Puducherry and Tamil Nadu.

KC Venugopal informed the media of the same after a meeting of the party's top decision-making body.

During the meeting, veteran Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma, Mukul Wasnik and P Chidambaram reportedly asked for immediate organisational polls. Post the party's multiple election defeats, these leaders, among others, have raised difficult questions over the party's leadership and running.

These leaders were pitted against the Gandhi loyalists- Ashok Gehlot, Amarinder Singh, AK Antony, Tariq Anwar and Oommen Chandy, who reportedly said the Congress president's election should be conducted after the polls in five states. One leader commented: "Whose agenda are we working towards? The BJP doesn't talk about internal elections like our party? The first priority is to fight the state elections then organisational elections."

The dates for the election of a Congress president and the CWC will be announced shortly and Sonia Gandhi will take the final decision, leaders said. The last election to the CWC was held in 1997.

Sonia Gandhi has stressed she is not in the running of the party president. After her son Rahul Gandhi stepped down over the Congress's national election defeat in 2019, she has been the interim president of the party.

Rahul Gandhi too has repeatedly refused to reconsider his resignation and has maintained that a non-Gandhi should be given a chance.

Even though the Gandhis have refused to take on the presidential duties, they continue to be the who's who in the Congress as no big decision is taken without their approval.

Since last year, a number of Congress leaders have raised their voice against the leadership but they have failed to attain the support of the party at large.

In August 2019, 23 top leaders wrote to Sonia Gandhi calling for a "full-time, visible leadership" and major changes in Congress after its prolonged run of defeats.

Last month, Sonia Gandhi met with some of those leaders and discussed the issues raised by them. Among the parties involved with the letter are Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma, Bhupinder Hooda, Prithviraj Chavan, Kapil Sibal, Manish Tewari and Mukul Wasnik. These leaders argued ardently for choosing a new chief immediately but were vetoed.

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