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Cong to summon CWC for analysis, next steps

Sonia Gandhi has reportedly been talking to senior leaders to fix a date for the meeting

Congress Working Committee

Kavita Chowdhury  |  New Delhi 

Congress President Sonia Gandhi  PTI
Congress President Sonia Gandhi PTI

A day after the Assembly poll results had the Bharatiya Janata Party declaring it was close to realising its mission of a ‘Congress-mukt Bharat’ (Congress-freed India) and party seniors called for “major surgery” to get the once-grand edifice back on its feet, it was announced that a Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting was on the cards.

The CWC is the party's highest decision making body. Sonia Gandhi, the president, has reportedly been talking to seniors to fix a date. It is widely believed that the meet will also pave the way for Rahul Gandhi’s takeover as president and thereafter a long-awaited reshuffle of the All India Congress Committee, postponed since the poll debacle of 2014.

After the Congress lost its two governments in Kerala and Assam, there have been voices from within the party for a major overhaul. Senior leader Digvijaya Singh created a flutter when he, soon after Sonia Gandhi’s statement about “need for introspection”, tweeted, "We have done enough introspection. Shouldn't we go for a major surgery?"

On Friday, he tempered this with, "Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi are the surgeons; they need to conduct the surgery. I want them to take action."

Party spokesperson P C Chacko, welcomed Singh’s remarks as wanting to “improve the Congress’ style of functioning” but added he should have said it within the party forum. Chacko went all out to assure that “the CWC would be examining the reasons for the debacle” and decide on steps to revamp the party.

What riled the Congress most was former partyman and now BJP’s “man of the hour” Himanta Biswa Sarma’s public statements against Rahul Gandhi. Sarma had told a television channel that the Gandhi scion believes in only a relationship of “master and servant”. Chacko hit back by saying it was the BJP which when Sarma was minister in the Tarun Gogoi government had alleged he was the most corrupt minister; today, “he is a saint for the BJP.”

Sarma had been summoned by probe agencies in the Sarada chit fund scam and after he defected to the BJP, all inquiries stopped, alleged Chacko.

The Congress also dismissed the charges against Rahul Gandhi. It said in all five poll-going states/UT, the local leaders had decided on alliances and strategy. What also cost the party in Kerala, said Chacko, was infighting among leaders in Kerala.

Denying allegations that no action had been taken after the Antony committee report on the 2014 Congress debacle, the spokesperson claimed that state chiefs had been changed after that.

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First Published: Sat, May 21 2016. 00:25 IST