Tribune News Service
New Delhi, January 22
The Congress Working Committe on Friday proposed that the AICC session and Congress chief’s election should be held on May 29.
The stage is set for internal elections of the party with president Sonia Gandhi seeking the approval of the working committee for the organisational election schedule, which will include election to the party president.
The CWC meeting currently under way is deliberating on the schedule amid internal dissent over the stage of affairs and leadership vacuum.
“The schedule and modalities for organisational elections, too, have to get the CWC’s approval. In this context, I will ask organisation general secretary KC Venugopal to read out the Organisational Election Schedule sent by Chairperson of the Central Election Authority Madhusudan Mistry,” Sonia told the virtual gathering a month after she met the rebel leaders, including Ghulam Nabi Azad and Anand Sharma, and promised them to effect party overhaul.
It remains to be seen what view the CWC takes of the election schedule given the dominance of Gandhis in the party.
A section of leaders still feel consensus party president is the best and the CWC should ask Rahul Gandhi to take charge.
Earlier in the meeting, Sonia slammed the Centre for arrogance and inflexibility on farm issues, economic affairs, COVID response and Arnab leaks.
Sonia said the Centre’s silence on the leaking of national security secret in Arnab chats was “deafening” and quoted former defence minister AK Antony as saying that leaking of the national security secret is treason.
Stressing that the Congress would raise people’s issues in the upcoming Parliament session, Gandhi said: “The agitation of farmers continues and the government has shown shocking insensitivity and arrogance going through the charade of consultations. It is abundantly clear that the three laws were prepared in haste and Parliament was consciously denied an opportunity for examining in any meaningful details their implications and impacts.”
Gandhi said the Congress position had been very clear from the beginning: “We reject them categorically because they will destroy the foundations of food security that are based on the three pillars of MSP, public procurement and PDS.”
Citing recent reports on how national security has been compromised, in a reference to Arnab chats, Sonia said: “I think just a few days back, Antony-ji had said that leaking of official secrets of military operations is treason. Yet the silence from the government’s side on what has been revealed has been deafening. Those who give certificates of patriotism and nationalism to others now stand totally exposed.”
She said the vaccination of courageous frontline health professionals and workers had begun and “the Congress hopes the process will continue and be completed to the fullest extent”.
Targeting the Centre on the state of the economy, Sonia said the economic situation remained grim and large parts of the economy like MSME and the informal sector had been decimated with the government refusing to extend a lifeline.
She said, “When public expenditure has to be carefully prioritised, it is very painful to find huge amounts of money being allocated and spent on initiatives that can only be described as personal vanity projects. Equally anguishing is the manner in which the government has weakened labour and environmental laws and it’s moving ahead with selling-off of carefully built-up public assets. Panic privatisation has gripped the government and this is something that the Congress can never accept and support.”