After poll disaster, Congress's top decision-making body to meet tomorrow
After facing a massive setback in the recent Assembly elections in five states, Congress's top decision-making body—the Congress Working Committee (CWC)—will convene a meeting on Sunday, NDTV reported. The meeting will push for party elections amid increased worries about its leadership. Congress lost Punjab—one of the last major states under its control—to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and was annihilated in other states, too.
- The Congress's performance remained dismal in the recently concluded elections as it took home very few seats.
- The support base of the party has dwindled over the years, especially after its embarrassing defeat in the 2019 General Election and political infighting that has since emerged.
- The party even appears to be ignoring some of its senior-most leaders, who had been calling for radical changes.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said that the party would gather to "introspect" on election results. "The results of five states have come against the expectations of the Congress party but we accept that we failed to get the blessings of the people," he said. "Sonia Gandhi (President of Congress) has decided to convene Congress Working Committee meeting soon to introspect the results," added Surjewala.
A day after Congress's electoral setback, many "dissident" party leaders met at senior politician Ghulam Nabi Azad's Delhi residence on Thursday, NDTV reported. The meeting was attended by former Union ministers Kapil Sibal and Manish Tewari, among others. The report said the leaders discussed the future course and expressed unhappiness with Congress leadership for failing to take any corrective action for the party's revival.
In Uttar Pradesh, the Congress's election campaign was managed by Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Sonia Gandhi's daughter and senior politician Rahul Gandhi's sister. However, the party secured just two Assembly seats out of 403—a five-seat loss compared to the previous state polls—with a vote share of only 2.4%. As a result of the election defeat, dissonance was reignited both within and beyond the party.
Priyanka's campaign in Uttar Pradesh, which used the slogan "Ladki hoon, lad sakti hoon (I am a woman, I can fight)," failed to attract voters. Meanwhile, in Punjab, Congress removed Amarinder Singh as CM just four months before elections because the Gandhis apparently favored his rival Navjot Singh Sidhu. Sidhu, however, continued targeting Singh's successor Charanjit Singh Channi too. The party's move ultimately backfired.
Two years ago, dissident Congress leaders, known as the "G-23," had written to party president Sonia Gandhi, requesting substantial organizational changes to address the Congress's never-ending string of election defeats. In the Thursday meeting, some dissident leaders had also expressed concerns over the party not discussing the report by a committee constituted to assess the Congress's losses in the previous round of Assembly elections.