The first meeting of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) after Sonia Gandhi’s re-election as party chief is being held in the shadow of the housing scam and the Commonwealth Games, both involving the party’s senior Maharashtra leaders.
The question now is whether Gandhi will make any direct or indirect reference to these scandals when she addresses the 1000-odd AICC members at Delhi’s Talkatora Stadium on Tuesday and lays down the roadmap for the party?
Expected to be a short affair, the AICC meeting comes ahead of Parliament’s winter session starting November 9 when the opposition would put the Manmohan Singh government on the mat over the housing scam involving chief minister Ashok Chavan, the Games controversy implicating Suresh Kalmadi and the 2G spectrum issue involving A Raja of the DMK. The meeting, which will also be addressed by the Prime Minister, will set the stage for the party’s plenary of over 20,000 members on December 17-19.
Clearly, the celebratory mood that was to dominate the proceedings of the party turning 125 this December has dissipated considerably.
The one-day AICC meet, which will adopt a resolution on the current political situation, has also been called to choose the Congress Working Committee (CWC), its highest decision making body. Though the party constitution provides for the election of 12 members and nomination of 11 to the 25- member body (which includes the party chief and the leader of the party in Parliament), almost every state wants Gandhi to nominate the CWC. A resolution authorizing her to this effect is expected to be moved and passed on Tuesday.