Sonia Gandhi chairs key Congress meeting after election losses
The top body of the Indian National Congress party held a meeting on Sunday after the recent assembly elections in five states. The meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) was chaired by interim party chief Sonia Gandhi. Reportedly, none of the members have been allowed to take their mobile phones inside the meeting to maintain secrecy. Here's what we do know.
- The 137-year-old Congress party was once the most influential political party in India.
- The Nehru-Gandhi family at the heart of the party was also central in India's independence movement.
- The now-unpopular party used to hold power at the central government until 2014.
- Senior Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra are being blamed for the party's recent poll disaster.
According to NDTV, 57 Congress leaders are participating in the CWC meeting. However, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and three others will reportedly not participate citing health reasons. Former Defence Minister AK Antony also skipped the meeting as he has tested positive for COVID-19.
The Congress party has said denied that the Gandhis—Sonia, Rahul, and Priyanka—will resign at the meeting. The Jharkhand Congress had also passed a resolution supporting the Gandhis ahead of the meet. The Congress organizational elections to elect a new party president may be advanced by two to three months, sources told NDTV. The elections were previously scheduled in August-September.
On Friday evening, some members of the "G-23"—a group of 23 Congress leaders who repeatedly push for radical changes in the party—met at leader Ghulam Nabi Azad's home. Kapil Sibal, Manish Tewari, Anand Sharma, and Akhilesh Prasad Singh attended virtually. They reportedly discussed the way forward and possible corrective actions. Reports also said that Mukul Wasnik's name was floated for the new party chief.
Separately, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot told IndiaTV Rahul Gandhi should take charge. Notably, Rahul had resigned as Congress chief after the party's embarrassing defeat in the 2019 general elections. His mother, Sonia Gandhi, has since been serving as the interim chief.
Earlier Sunday, Congress leader Vivek Tankha tweeted saying that the CWC should "rebuild the idea of India once again." Youth Congress chief Srinivas BV said the Gandhi family binds the Congress party and all sections of India. Reportedly, Congress is yet to act on the Ashok Chavan committee report, which analyzed reasons for the party's defeat in the 2021 Kerala and West Bengal elections.