The Congress Working Committee (CWC) will meet on October 16 to deliberate on the current political situation, including the Lakhimpur Kheri violence, and decide on the schedule for the organisational elections to elect a new party chief.
The CWC has been convened after demands from some quarters, including senior leaders like former Union Ministers Ghulam Nabi Azad, P Chidambaram, Shahshi Tharoor, to discuss the all-important issues of the leadership vacuum.
“A meeting of the Congress Working Committee will be held on Saturday, October 16, at AICC headquarters to discuss current political situation, forthcoming Assembly elections and organisational elections,” said AICC general secretary KC Venugopal.
The party, in its CWC meeting, held on January 22 had decided that the Congress would have an elected president by June 2021, but the same was deferred at the May 10 CWC meet in the wake of the Covid-19 situation.
The latest meeting is being held in the wake of the Lakhimpur clashes on October 3 in which nine people lost their lives, including four farmers, who were allegedly run over by an SUV belonging to the convoy of Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Kumar Mishra, and 2 lynching by the protesting farmers.
The incident has given enough ammo to the Congress to corner the BJP Government and recapture the lost political space. The CWC meeting will also discuss certain dissenting notes rising within the party over the spate of defections and the party’s poor electoral fortunes.
Sonia Gandhi took over as the interim Congress president in August 2019 after Rahul Gandhi resigned in the wake of the party’s Lok Sabha debacle in May 2019. There have been demands from a section of Congress leaders for having a full-time and active party president as well as an organisational overhaul.
The demand grew louder after a storm in the party in August last year over a letter to Sonia by a group of 23 leaders, including Azad, Anand Sharma, Bhupinder Hooda, Prithviraj Chavan, Kapil Sibal, Manish Tewari and Mukul Wasnik raising these issues. A fortnight ago Azad had written to the Congress president to convene a meeting of the CWC soon.