Election of AICC president likely to be delayed, Sonia Gandhi keen to step down

Sonia Gandhi
Sonia Gandhi

New Delhi: The election of a new president of the All-India Congress Committee (AICC) is likely to be delayed, even as the interim president Sonia Gandhi is keen on quitting the post at the earliest due to health reasons.

The party is yet to schedule a meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) to fix a date for electing the president. The CWC is unlikely to meet before the conclusion of Parliament’s monsoon session. The session, beginning on July 19, will end on August 13.

The national leadership is yet to decide on whether to convene an AICC meeting to discuss the election of the new president.

In case of a possible third wave of COVID-19 in September-October, the election will be further postponed. The AICC was to elect its new president by June end, but the schedule was postponed due to the spread of the pandemic.

Former President Rahul Gandhi, meanwhile, is silent on who is likely to be at the helm of the party. Sources say he wants an organizational rejig before taking up the mantle once again. Rahul, who had been the Congress president, formally resigned in July 2019.

The party may rejig the AICC general secretaries in charge of states. The posts of general secretaries in charge of Gujarat and West Bengal have been remaining vacant.

The posts became vacant after Rajeev Satav, in charge of Gujarat, died due to COVID-19, and Jitin Prasada quit the Congress and joined the BJP.

Congress meeting over monsoon session today

New Delhi: AICC interim president Sonia Gandhi will chair a meeting on Wednesday to form political strategies to be adopted against the government during the monsoon session of Parliament, scheduled to begin on July 19.

The Congress is likely to raise in Parliament issues such as fuel price hike, spread of COVID-19, farmers’ agitation, row over the formation of Kongu Nadu, border dispute between India and China, and the creation of the Ministry of Cooperatives.

Most probably, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury might be dropped as the leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha. The party could not win even a single seat in the recent Assembly polls in West Bengal, where Chowdhury is the president of the Pradesh Congress Committee.

Additionally, Chowdhuri has been at loggerheads with Mamata Banerjee, the Chief Minister of West Bengal. By removing him as the Congress’s leader in the Lok Sabha, the party could join hands with Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress to oppose the Union government.

Chowdhury will lose the position if the Congress decides to implement its ‘one person, one post’ norm.

A section wants Rahul Gandhi to take up the leadership of the Congress in the Lok Sabha. If he refuses the demand, Shashi Tharoor, the member representing Thiruvananthapuram, may replace Chowdhury.

Other names doing the rounds are Manish Tiwary, Gaurav Gogoi, Ravneeth Singh Bittu and Uttam Kumar Reddy.

If Tharoor is made the party’s leader in the Lok Sabha, KPCC working president Kodikkunnil Suresh may lose the post of Chief Whip. The ‘one person, one post’ norm will be applicable to Suresh too. 

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