Lists of AICC members from every state are being scrutinized.

 

New Delhi: Activities related to the internal polls of the Congress are gaining momentum, although a final word on the organisational elections is yet to come. Lists of AICC members from every state are being scrutinized which is an essential step ahead of party elections.

Initially, preparations are being made for the election of the Congress Working Committee (CWC). According to sources, all the state units have been asked to submit the lists of AICC members. PCCs have been instructed that no new name on their own should be added to the existing list of AICC members, sources added.

In fact, in the last three years, the number of AICC members has changed. For instance, after the 2017 Congress organisational elections, many leaders left the party leading to posts lying vacant. So, in Uttar Pradesh alone, 11 AICC members are no longer there. The highest number of AICC members come from Uttar Pradesh. UP contributes 203 AICC members to the total strength of 2000 members in the top Congress body.

Only AICC members can vote to elect the CWC members. The party is also trying to ascertain the number of supporters of those leaders who have either left the Congress or rebelled against the party over the last few years.

There has been a lack of proper management in the Congress party at AICC headquarters ever since Rahul Gandhi left the party president post. The “letter bomb” episode has impacted the organizational functioning all the more. Only a few leaders can be seen at AICC headquarters now. AICC office-bearers are not visible these days in their offices, with staff working there despite corona.

Even as other party offices are brimming with activities due to the upcoming Bihar elections, the Congress headquarters wear a deserted look.  Actually, after being interim chief Sonia Gandhi could not really decide what exactly is to be done for the organization. She depended on Rahul Gandhi for organisation related matters. Rahul Gandhi took some decisions, making a couple of changes, but those were ineffective.

Infighting was seen in the Congress and important decisions were delayed due to which the Congress lost its government in MP. Rajasthan witnessed a massive crisis, with Ashok Gehlot being able to save his government. Central leadership was targeted by veterans for not being effective. But regardless of what was said by old guards, Rahul Gandhi is hell bent on doing politics in his own style.

He continues to go ahead with his politics which focuses on attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The situation has come to such a pass that the Congress has just four states in its kitty—Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Pudducherry and Punjab.

In Maharashtra and Jharkhand, Congress is in alliance with other parties in the government. Rahul Gandhi continues to be neutral for states, even while Bihar polls in October are quite crucial as the electoral momentum will end with the 2024 Lok Sabha polls only. There will be several state Assembly elections in 2021, 2022 and 2023. It means there will be at least one election in every six months. The election-bound states are West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh

With this in view, Congress will have to be serious about state politics, but present indications are such that Rahul Gandhi is not cautious about this.

Rahul Gandhi’s focus is the Central government. The veterans have raised their voice due to this only. Now the party is adopting a two-pronged strategy. One, the Congress wants to convene an AICC session and appoint Rahul Gandhi as president and then the Gandhi scion will announce CWC polls.

The 12 members of the 25-member CWC can be nominated by the president and elections will be held for the remaining 12 members. In 1992, P.V. Narasimha Rao and Sitaram Kesri in 1997 had these top body elections held.

Ghulam Nabi Azad had then won despite Kesri’s opposition. Sources said Rahul Gandhi can accept the veterans’ challenge and hold polls for 12 CWC members.

If Rahul Gandhi goes for polls for the president’s post, it will be a long process as then PCC members will have to be included. The party’s membership drive is on the backburner due to the process of organisational polls.