Reconstituted CWC's first meet today; assembly, LS polls on agenda

Hyderabad: The first meeting of the reconstituted Congress Working Committee (CWC) will be held here on Saturday to evolve a strategy for the upcoming assembly polls in five states and the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. The choice of location is also an indicator that the party would go all-out to dislodge the BRS government in Telangana.

The brainstorming of the Congress top brass during the meeting would prove to a "game changer" and a "transformative moment" for Telangana politics and the grand old party, leaders said.

Announcing the plans for the meeting of the CWC to be chaired by party chief Mallikarjun Kharge, general secretaries K C Venugopal and Jairam Ramesh said this is for the first time in many years that the top decision-making body of the Congress will hold deliberations for three days outside Delhi.

The CWC will be noted for the presence of leaders like Shashi Tharoor and Sachin Pilot among other new inclusions like Syed Nasser Hussain and Deepa Das Munshi. Kharge had on August 20 reconstituted the CWC, retaining the old guard, giving space to the young in the 84-member top decision-making body of the party.

The CWC has 39 regular members, 32 permanent invitees and 13 special invitees. These include 15 women and several new faces such as Pilot and Gaurav Gogoi who are among the regular members.

Venugopal announced that the CWC will meet at 2.30 PM on Saturday and will deliberate on the strategy for the upcoming assembly elections and Lok Sabha polls. He expressed confidence that the Congress would form government in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Mizoram that go to polls later this year.

Venugopal said that on Sunday there will be a meeting of the extended Congress Working Committee (CWC) where all state party chiefs and CLP leaders, besides Parliamentary Party office bearers, Central Election Committee members are invited to strategise on upcoming elections.

"We invited 159 people, out of them 147 people are attending that meeting on Sunday," he noted.

At the meeting there could also be a discussion on the feasibility of holding Bharat Jodo Yatra 2.

On September 17 evening, which is celebrated as Telangana National Integration Day, the party will hold a "mega rally" near Hyderabad, where it will announce six guarantees for the Telangana assembly election, he said.

The holding of the CWC meeting in Telangana's capital is as an attempt to boost the party's campaign in the poll-bound state and send out a clear message that it would go all-out to oust the BRS government in the assembly elections.

"Tomorrow at 2:30 pm, we will hold the first CWC meeting. Congress President will be present. Former Congress Presidents Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi and all other Working Committee Members including permanent invitees and special invitees will participate.

"We have invited 90 people, but six of them have informed us about their inability due to the personal difficulties to attend. All other 84 people will attend, including our four chief ministers," Venugopal said.

The meeting also comes at a time when there is a raging row over the Sanatan Dharma remarks by DMK leaders and after over two dozen opposition parties have formed the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) to challenge the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance(NDA) unitedly in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

Venugopal said that on Sunday evening there will be "Vijay Bheri" of Telangana Congress and of Indian National Congress as it will herald the formation of its government here.

He said on September 18, the party's members of Parliament will be back to attend the Parliament session.

Jairam said this will add renewed vigour in the party's rank and file in Telangana which got a fillip after the Bharat Jodo Yatra and claimed that this will bear good results for the party in upcoming polls by electing its government.

"We will announce six guarantees for the people of Telangana. We hope that when the elections come, the party will get a clear mandate from the people," Ramesh said, referring to the mega rally that will be held on Sunday evening.

He termed the CWC meeting as historic that will be transformative for Telangana politics.

Ramesh hit out at BRS leader and KCR's daughter K Kavitha for criticizing Rahul Gandhi, saying she should not worry about the former Congress chief but about the Enforcement Directorate.

Ahead of key deliberations here, Congress leader Sachin Pilot said the Hyderabad meeting of the party's CWC is crucial in view of upcoming state polls.

"I look forward to these meetings in Hyderabad. The working committee will work with renewed vigour and energy and this augurs very well for the Congress' future," Pilot said.

(With PTI inputs.)

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