The CWC Monday postponed the elections for the Congress president once again. According to sources, the Congress Working Committee (CWC), which met on Monday, postponed the polls despite setting a date.
The CWC was mulling over holding the long-awaited internal polls on June 23. However, the date was postponed after a majority of members opposed the date, due to the prevailing Covid-19 situation.
Addressing a press conference after the CWC meet, senior Congress leader KC Venugopal told the media that the committee members opined that this was not the right time to conduct elections.
“All energy should be channelised to provide relief and support work. It was unanimously decided to defer elections further, temporarily,” Venugopal said.
The Congress president’s post has remained vacant since Rahul Gandhi resigned after the drubbing in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Poll debacles discussed
During the CWC meeting, the party high command discussed the Covid-19 situation and the party’s poor performance in the recently-concluded assembly elections in five states. Party’s interim president Sonia Gandhi acknowledged the need to introspect into the party’s repeated setbacks in the assembly elections. And she said there was “a need to put the house in order”.
At the crucial meeting, Sonia Gandhi also said that she intends to set up a small group to look at every aspect that caused the poll debacle for Congress in the recent elections.
“We have to take note of our serious setbacks. To say that we are deeply disappointed is to make an understatement,” said Sonia Gandhi on the party’s poor show.
The Congress won zero seats in West Bengal in its alliance with the Left Front and ISF. And the party also failed to win back power in Kerala and Assam, besides also losing Puducherry. Congress only came to power with the help of its ally DMK in Tamil Nadu.
When will the stalemate end?
Congress party has been waiting for a president for almost two years now. Rahul Gandhi, who had assumed the post in 2017, had resigned as the party president after Congress lost the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Since then, the party has been operating under the aegis of Sonia Gandhi as interim president.
It was for the third time the CWC has postponed the election for the Congress president.
The CWC was expected to announce the election in August last year. However, after a charged meeting, the committee asked ailing Sonia Gandhi to continue as interim chief for the next six months. In the meeting, the CWC had resolved to conduct internal polls by February to appoint a new president. But, in February, it decided to push the elections until after the five assembly polls.
For the last few months, the party high command has been facing an unprecedented rebellion. And she was under pressure to announce internal elections for the post of party chief. The rebels, known as the G-23, have been pushing for party reforms, including greater inner-party democracy – elections to the CWC and the post of the AICC president.