NEW DELHI: The Congress is all set to hold elections for the 12 members of the Congress Working Committee (CWC), the highest decision making body of the party. The elections will be held during the plenary session of the All India Congress Committee (AICC), slated to be held at the end of February at Raipur.
The plenary, to be held between February 24 and February 26 in Raipur, will endorse Mr Kharge’s election as the party president as well as pave the way for election to the CWC. With a non-Gandhi at the helm after more than two decades, the new CWC will not only have to play a crucial role in reviving the party’s political fortunes but also ensure continuity of decisions taken under the Gandhis.
According to the Congress constitution, the CWC comprises the president of the party, its leader in Parliament and 23 other members, of whom 12 will be elected by the AICC. The rest are appointed by the party president.
Elections to the CWC have been held only when a person who did not belong to the Nehru-Gandhi family was at the helm. In 1992, at the AICC’s plenary session in Tirupati, then Congress president P.V. Narasimha Rao held elections to the CWC. Elections to the CWC were held again in 1997 under Sitaram Kesri at the Calcutta plenary.
The chief of the central election authority of the Congress, Madhusudan Mistry is already in the process of updating the electoral rolls so that the elections can take place without any glitches during the plenary. The last election in the Congress was that of the party president, which was held in October last year by the party’s election authority. The plenary session, the largest and most important meeting of the party, will be attended by members of the state Congress units, the Pradesh Congress Committees and others, numbering around 4,000.
Insiders claim that several senior leaders of the party may contest these elections to ensure that a message goes out that the process is free and fair. The internal elections in the party began after the change seekers from within the party, known as the G-23, wrote a letter to the then Congress president Sonia Gandhi, demanding sweeping changes in the party. Interestingly, most of the influential members of the G-23 have already left the party.