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Rahul Gandhi set to chair first meeting of new Congress Working Committee today

Congress president Rahul Gandhi, his mother and previous party president Sonia Gandhi, and senior general secretary Ashok Gehlot will be among the key speakers at the Congress Working Committee meeting.

india Updated: Jul 22, 2018 12:40 IST
Aurangzeb Naqshbandi
Aurangzeb Naqshbandi
New Delhi, Hindustan Times
Rahul Gandhi,Congress Working Committee,CWC meeting
Congress president Rahul Gandhi. (Vipin Kumar/HT file photo)

The newly constituted Congress Working Committee (CWC) will meet for the first time on Sunday to discuss the prevailing political situation in the country and draw up the party’s strategy for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Congress president, Rahul Gandhi, his mother and previous party president, Sonia Gandhi, and senior general secretary, Ashok Gehlot, will be among the key speakers at the meeting.

Gandhi on July 17 reconstituted the party’s highest decision-making body with a blend of experienced and GenNext leaders.

Of the 51 members, 23 are in the main panel, followed by 18 permanent invitees and 10 special invitees.

Apart from the state chiefs and legislature party leaders, the meeting will be attended by All India Congress Committee (AICC) secretaries, joint secretaries, heads of departments and cells, office bearers of the Congress Parliamentary Party and members of the central election committee, a panel that finalises the candidates for any state or Lok Sabha polls.

The meeting will take place two days after Gandhi’s fiery speech in Parliament during a debate on the no-confidence motion on Friday. The Congress president launched a blistering attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and later, in an unprecedented move, gave him a hug.

Gandhi’s aggressive speech has buoyed the Congress with its leaders expressing confidence that he will pose a formidable challenge to Modi in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

“It was an excellent speech by the Congress president. The government stands completely exposed,” wrote senior leader Ahmed Patel on Twitter. AICC secretary Prakash Joshi said Gandhi’s speech galvanised and infused confidence among the Congress leaders, workers and the cadre. “The no-confidence motion was a launch pad for the Congress’ campaign for the 2019 elections. Rahulji’s speech marked the beginning of the end of Modi and his government. The countdown has started as evident from Modi’s weak response and a fake smile,” he said.

Former union minister and Congress party’s in-charge of Jharkhand, RPN Singh, said, “It was a hard-hitting and factual speech. Perfect 10/10.... Unfortunately, the Prime Minister’s response had nothing to do with facts and as usual attacked the Gandhi family and once again tried to play a victim card.”

While Modi attacked Gandhi for the hug, Congress leaders maintained that their party chief’s intention was to send out a message of love. “When the Prime Minister goes abroad and hugs world leaders, what will we call that? By hugging the Prime Minister, Rahul Gandhiji only tried to give a message of love, peace, non-violence and brotherhood,” Gehlot said.

“Rahulji also wanted to convey that there should not be any tension between the political rivals despite having difference of opinions. It was an opportunity for the Prime Minister to reciprocate Rahulji’s gesture and that would have been good for the country,” he added.

First Published: Jul 21, 2018 23:35 IST