Elected Congress president by June 2021, announces KC Venugopal
The Congress, which has been without a full-time party president for nearly two years now, is likely to get an elected president by June 2021, party general secretary KC Venugopal announced on Friday, addressing the media after the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting.
"Congress Working Committee has decided that there will be an elected Congress president by June 2021," Venugopal said at a press conference. Earlier in the day, Hindustan Times reported that the CWC may consider holding the organisational elections, between May 15 and May 30, after upcoming Assembly elections in four states and a Union territory (UT). The party is also looking at a possible window in February for its internal polls.
The states of Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and the UT of Puducherry are likely to go to polls in April-May this year. Except Puducherry, the Congress is out of power in all four states. While it is likely to contest in Tamil Nadu in an alliance with the DMK, in West Bengal it is in talks with the Left over seat-sharing. In Assam, meanwhile, it has joined hands with Badruddin Ajmal's All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF).
The Congress has not had a full-time president since Rahul Gandhi resigned from the post in July 2019, two months after the party’s second consecutive loss in a general election. Sonia Gandhi, whom Rahul Gandhi succeeded as Congress president in December 2017, took over as the interim party chief in August 2019. Sonia Gandhi is also the longest-serving Congress president, having earlier presided over the party from 1998-2017.
Rahul Gandhi, presently an MP from Kerala’s Wayanad, has repeatedly been "endorsed" by several leaders to once again take over the party’s leadership but has refused to take over the role.
Besides its electoral losses, the Congress is also facing an internal “rebellion” from a group of leaders, including veterans like Ghulam Nabi Azad, Kapil Sibal and Lok Sabha MPs Manish Tewari and Shashi Tharoor. The group has been dubbed as “G23.”
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