The party leadership took the decision To convene a meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) next week amid fresh turmoil and tussle by leaders in Punjab and Chhattisgarh. In the meeting, the controversial issue of election for the post of Congress President is expected to be discussed in place of Interim President. Sonia Gandhi.
Congress was postponing the issue of election of Congress President citing the pandemic. And a section of leaders, especially those from the G-23, were criticizing the leadership for the delay in the appointment of a full-time president. Just a week ago, senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal had publicly criticized the leadership for the ongoing drift in the party.
Indeed, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad – one of the key members of the group, who wrote to Sonia Gandhi last year demanding sweeping changes in the party’s structure – stirred up turmoil in Punjab last month by writing to her. The CWC meeting was demanded in the background. . Many G-23 members are unhappy with the manner in which Amarinder Singh was removed from the post of Chief Minister.
Even after Singh’s departure, the tension in the party’s Punjab unit has not eased. It has been 10 days since Navjot Singh Sidhu announced his resignation from the post of Punjab Congress President but there is still no clarity on his position. The indication is that his resignation has not been accepted. While Singh has indicated that he is leaving the Congress, the issue may figure prominently in the CWC meeting.
Uncertainty remains in Chhattisgarh as well, though the recent appointment of Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel as senior observer for the upcoming assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh was a sign that the leadership is not seeing any change in Chhattisgarh anytime soon.
There are indications that the CWC meeting may turn into an uproar. Sibal’s anger angered many CWC members, but the protest outside his residence did not go down well with the G-23 leaders.
G-23 members Azad, Anand Sharma and Mukul Wasnik are members of the CWC.
Not just members of G-23, senior leaders like P Chidambaram had also condemned the protest by Congress workers outside Sibal’s residence. “I feel helpless when we are unable to initiate meaningful dialogue within the party forums. I also feel hurt and helpless when I see pictures of Congress workers shouting slogans outside the residence of one of my colleague and MP. The safe harbor from which one can go back appears to be silent,” Chidambaram had posted on Twitter.