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AD HOCISM RULES ROOST CWC in RG Era: Cong Without Committee

July 11, 2018 05:30 AM


CWC in RG Era: Cong Without Committee
Party without highest decision-making body for a record period

New Delhi:

Rahul Gandhi’s Congress presidentship has already created a strange record: the party is without the Congress Working Committee, its highest decisionmaking body, for its longest period. It is almost four months since the AICC plenary session in Delhi ratified Gandhi’s election as Congress president and authorised him to nominate the new CWC team. Old timers in the party said they could not recollect previous instances of a newly-elected party chief working without a full-fledged CWC team for such a long time. Worse, most party functionaries are clueless as to what is causing the delay.

Ahead of the mid-March AICC plenary session, the leadership had formally dissolved the earlier CWC and converted it into a steering committee with limited task of overseeing the conduct of the session. The unprecedented delay in constituting the new CWC means the party is working with an ad hoc system. Since the Delhi plenary session, Gandhi in a piece-meal process dropped some AICC general secretaries (GSs) and appointed three new GSs —Ashok Gehlot, Oommen Chandy and Mallikarjun Kharge — even as pre-session GSs Ambika Soni, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mukul Wasnik, CP Joshi, KC Venugopal, Avinash Pandey, Dipak Babaria and Kamal Nath (even after he was appointed Madhya Pradesh PCC chief) continue.

The AICC convention is for the new party chief to appoint the CWC first and then pick GSs from CWC. “Rahulji seems wanting to line up the AICC general secretaries first and then name the rest of CWC by doing the necessary casteregion balancing,” reasoned a member of Team Rahul.

But not many partymen are convinced. They feel absence of a fullfledged CWC, besides denting the credibility of the collective leadership and party’s policy decisionmaking process, also raises questions on Gandhi’s lingering confusion and indecisiveness in picking a team after taking care of various factors such as factions, generation gap and caste-religionregional balance, especially with Lok Sabha elections not far away. When asked about CWC’s constitution, a senior leader said “no idea at all. It is for Rahulji to decide.”

As part of his ad hoc appointments, Gandhi has also made ‘AICC in-charges’ with independent charges of states, who all not necessarily have to be CWC members. As the leadership could not complete the process of appointing all PCCs presidents before the plenary session, acting PCC chiefs are continuing in UP, Bihar, Haryana, Kerala, etc., even as leaders await news from Gandhi on leadership roles

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