Congress defers party president polls once again, cites Covid-19 pandemic
The Congress party’s internal elections to elect the successor of President Sonia Gandhi has been deferred once again as several members in the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting on Monday emphasized keeping the focus on the Covid-19 pandemic and the relief work, the CWC resolution stated.
In January, the Congress had decided to hold the long-pending organizational elections in June to elect a new president. Now, amid the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic raging across the country, the party has decided to defer the polls once again.
“In view of the nationwide emergent conditions prevailing on account of unprecedented Corona pandemic, the CWC was unanimous that all our energies should be channelized towards saving every life and helping every Covid affected person. CWC, therefore, unanimously resolved to defer the elections temporarily in the midst of these challenging times,” read the CWC resolution.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said, “the election has been deferred for two to three months” but at least two other party insiders said that polls would not happen till the covid subsides.
In her opening remarks, Congress president Sonia Gandhi mentioned the internal polls and said, “There is another important issue on which I would like your guidance. When we met on January 22nd, we had decided that the process for electing a Congress President would be completed by end-June. The election authority chairperson, Madhusudan Mistri ji, has prepared a schedule.”
The Mistri panel had proposed that the elections would be held in the last week of June. But leaders, including Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot, argued that this is time to hold party polls.
In the meet, Congress also decided to form state-level committees to analyse the results of assembly elections in Assam, West Bengal and Kerala. The decision was taken at the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting.
At the meeting, the party leaders noted that in Assam, the difference of vote share between Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress alliance was very narrow. The BJP was able to retain power in Assam by defeating Congress-led 'Mahajot'; Himanta Biswa Sarma took oth as 15th chief minister of the state on Monday.
The CWC meeting was convened to analyse the election results and review the party's performance in the recently-concluded assembly polls. All the Congress leaders present at the CWC meeting maintained that the need of the hour is to maintain unity.