Tribune News Service
New Delhi, January 22
The Congress will have a new, elected party president by June through a process of internal elections to be held after the Assembly poll in five states.
Clash over dates
- Dissenters Anand Sharma and Ghulam Nabi Azad pressed for immediate polls to the party chief’s post
- Ashok Gehlot argued the priority must be to fight the BJP in the forthcoming state poll and not internal elections
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Government has shown shocking insensitivity and arrogance going through charade of consultations.
The Congress Working Committee (CWC) today took this decision after a three-hour meeting where dissenting leaders, including Anand Sharma and Ghulam Nabi Azad, pressed for immediate elections.
The majority membership, however, discussed the central election authority’s proposal to conclude organisational poll by May 29 and said the schedule be deferred to June until after votes for all due state elections were counted. “The CWC unanimously decided that the new elected Congress president should be in place in June 2021. It considered the election schedule of May 29 proposed by the central election authority and unanimously agreed to extend the schedule until June as counting for five state elections could be happening in May,” AICC general secretary (organisation) KC Venugopal and Congress media head Randeep Surjewala said.
Both insisted that the CWC meeting was “very fruitful and argument-free”.
But committee sources said Sharma clashed with Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot when the latter suggested that leaders should concentrate on fighting the BJP instead of seeking internal elections.
“The BJP never speaks of internal elections. Whose agenda are we furthering?” Gehlot said. Former party chief Rahul Gandhi later said he respected both Gehlot and Sharma’s sentiments and “everyone should now move on”.