A meeting of Congress Working Committee (CWC), the party’s highest decision-making body, was held on Monday where the Gandhi mother-son duo failed to clarify the party’s decisions. The CWC further extended the deadline for the completion of the party’s organisational elections by one year. The party had then informed the election commission of its decision. A political party is required to inform the poll body of the mode and periodicity of organisational elections at different levels.
As Sonia Gandhi was absent during the committee meeting, her son and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi took charge of the crucial meeting. This was the first time he presided over the committee meeting and the members weren’t quite satisfied with the outcome. Hence, the final announcement of the induction of 14 new District Congress Committee (DCC) presidents also got delayed.
On September 8 last year, the committee had extended the date of the elections by one year, which were to be completed by December 31. This means that Sonia Gandhi will remain the president of the All-India Congress Committee for another year which has delayed the elevation of Rahul Gandhi as party chief.
The Congress held CWC meeting on November 7 keeping in mind the winter session of Parliament which starts on November 16. The agenda of the Congress is to corner Modi government on issues like Rahul Gandhi’s arrest, tension in J&K and Indo-Pak relation, handling of economy, attitude towards media and triple talaq. Issues regarding freedom of speech and expression in regard to the one-day ban on a Hindi news channel over its coverage of Pathankot terror attack will also be raised.
Senior Congress leaders, including Manmohan Singh, P Chidambaram, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Janardan Dwivedi, Ahmed Patel, Ambika Soni and AK Antony attended the meeting.
The upcoming assembly elections in five states namely UP, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur is keeping Rahul Gandhi busy with campaigning. Several young members of his party are pretending to be loyal to him in order to get a stance in the center. Even though the younger members of the party wants Rahul Gandhi to be made the working president, the party feels that this should be done after the assembly elections of Uttar Pradesh and Punjab.
On the other hand his own mother and Congress president, Sonia Gandhi is adamant on not leaving her seat even for his son. She already holds the record of serving Congress as its president for 18 consecutive years after defeating Sitaram Kesri in 1998. She was re-elected as the Congress president for the fourth time in a row on September 3, 2010. With her five-year term ending last year, Congress had written to the Election Commission seeking time to hold organisational elections by the end of this year.
Where the younger generation in the party are supporting Rahul Gandhi, senior leaders favour mother Gandhi as then, the chances of being sidelined will be less. Therefore, the AICC leaders are insisting “there is nothing called” an extension of Presidential term as a serving Congress president’s term “continues as long as she is in office”.
Rahul Gandhi is also buckling up against his mother by appearing to accept this factionalism in the Congress party. By maintaining the factional equations, he would ensure that the new DCC presidents would owe their positions to him rather than their factional leaders.
In this hunger game for power, it won’t come as a surprise if the mother-son duo end up destroying each other’s lives in the process.