The Congress Working Committee (CWC) has decided that elections for the new Congress president would be held between August 21 and September 20 next year .
Addressing the all-important meeting, Sonia Gandhi asserted that she is a “full-time, hands-on Congress president” and asked party leaders to speak directly to her instead of speaking through the media, in a clear message to those criticising the leadership publicly.
This comes days after some sections within the Congress, especially the G23 leaders, questioned the absence of an elected party chief and also the decision-making process in the party.
The top decision-making body of the Congress also finalised the schedule for elections to all party positions from the block to national level starting April 16, a demand raised by the G-23 in their letter to Sonia Gandhi last year seeking organisational overhaul.
The schedule for organisational polls was welcomed by senior leaders and G-23 members Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma and Mukul Wasnik present at the CWC meeting.
Over 40 leaders of the party while speaking during the over four-hour meeting urged Rahul Gandhi to assume the charge of Congress president and lead the party following which he said he “would consider their request” while thanking them for reposing faith in him.
Prominent among those who supported Rahul Gandhi in assuming the top post in the party included chief ministers Ashok Gehlot, Bhupesh Baghel and Charanjit Singh Channi, besides senior leaders including A K Antony, sources said, adding that there was no objection from anyone on this proposal.
The CWC, which was held physically after a gap of 18 months due to the Covid situation, also passed three resolutions on the political situation in the country, the economic situation due to high inflation and price rise, and another on the acute agrarian crisis and diabolical attack on farmers.
AICC general secretaries K C Venugopal and Randeep Surjewala announced the election schedule which includes a massive membership drive for the polls starting from November 1 that will go on till March 31, 2022.
They also stated that election of PCC presidents, vice presidents, treasurers, PCC executives and AICC members by PCC general body will be held between July 21 and August 20.
Venugopal also announced that election of CWC members and other bodies by AICC members will take place at a plenary session dates, for which will be announced later.
He also said that the Congress will undertake a mass agitational programme across the country over rising prices from November 14 to 29.