Gandhis to skip Congress poll meet, give Kharge free hand
The three-day 85th Plenary Session of the Congress will begin in Chhattisgarh's Raipur on Friday with a meeting to decide on elections for the Congress Working Committee (CWC), the party's top body. Former party chief Sonia Gandhi, son Rahul Gandhi, and daughter Priyanka Gandhi would reportedly skip the meeting to give the party's new president Mallikarjun Kharge, a free hand.
Why does this story matter?
- The party convention would seek to chalk out the roadmap for the upcoming general elections in 2024 and forge alliances with like-minded parties to unseat the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
- The Congress has suffered a string of electoral defeats and strife over internal reforms, leading to the exodus of veteran leaders.
- Last year, Kharge became the party's only non-Gandhi chief in 24 years.
Steering Committee expected to endorse Kharge to helm CWC
Except for the key meeting on CWC polls, the Gandhis will attend the rest of the conclave. The party's Steering Committee is likely to endorse Kharge to lead the new CWC. Around 15,000 delegates will attend the convention which comes after the party's Bharat Jodo Yatra, a 4,000 km-march across India, which is said to give some impetus to the party.
Subjects Committee to meet later in the day
After the Steering Committee's meeting, the Subjects Committee will meet at 4 pm to decide upon six resolutions. On Saturday, resolutions regarding political, economic, and international matters will be discussed. Congress general secretary in-charge communications Jairam Ramesh said on Thursday that the Steering Committee, standing in for the CWC, will decide whether to conduct polls for the party's top body on Friday.
CWC was dissolved after Kharge took charge
After Kharge took charge as the party's chief in October last year, the CWC was dissolved so that he could choose his own team if he liked. Hours after assuming charge, Kharge constituted the 47-member Steering Committee on an ad hoc basis. Most members and office bearers of the CWC were retained in the Steering Committee, including Sonia Gandhi and former PM Manmohan Singh.