Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday chaired his first meeting of the newly constituted Congress Working Committee two days after the no-confidence motion in Lok Sabha which the Opposition lost.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday chaired his first meeting of the newly constituted Congress Working Committee after taking over as party chief in December last year.
The crucial meeting of the revamped CWC held in Parliament House Annexe comes two days after the no-confidence motion in Lok Sabha which the Opposition lost.
Gandhi has set the tone for the Congress strategy by going forward and hugging Prime Minister Modi during the no confidence motion discussions in Lok Sabha and by proclaiming that he will counter the BJP's “hatred and anger” with Congress' “love and compassion.”
Among those present at Sunday’s meeting include former prime minister Manmohan Singh, United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi, top Congress leaders AK Antony, Motilal Vora, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mallikarjun Kharge and Ashok Gehlot among others.
This is the meeting of extended CWC which also consists of all state party chiefs and legislature party leaders apart from the regular CWC members, permanent and special invitees to the committee.
Gandhi’s CWC has 23 regular members instead of 25 allowed by the party constitution. It has 18 permanent and eight special invitees.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi described the revamped Congress Working Committee as a bridge between the past, present and future and asked party men to rise and fight for India's oppressed.
Chairing the first meeting of the revamped CWC, he said it was an institution comprising experience and energy.
“The new CWC is an institution comprising experience and energy and will act as a bridge between the past, present and the future,” Rahul Gandhi said as he called upon Congressmen and women to rise and fight for the India's oppressed.
The Congress president also reminded the role of the Congress as the voice of India as also its responsibility of present and future, charging that the BJP attacks institutions, Dalits, tribals, backwards, minorities and the poor.
The extended CWC on Sunday authorised Congress president Rahul Gandhi to forge an alliance with like-minded parties for the 2019 Lok Sabha election to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party.
The party also authorised Gandhi to constitute a committee to work out alliances with various national and regional parties to form a grand national alliance.
Thirty-five to 40 leaders spoke at Sunday’s meeting where they all stressed that the Congress should play a lead role in forging an anti-BJP front.
Some leaders said Gandhi being the leader of the principle opposition party should be the face of the national alliance.
Asked about party leaders wanting Gandhi to be the face of the alliance, senior Congress leader Ambika Soni said, “Naturally, he is the leader of the main national (opposition) party and we would want our leader to be the face of the opposition alliance.”
Senior party leader and former finance minister P Chidambaram gave a detailed presentation on how the party could be strengthened with the help of allies in various states.
Sources said that Chidambaram highlighted that the Congress is strong in 12 states and with the help of its allies, it can forge a formidable front for the next general election.
Sonia attacks Modi govt, says dangerous regime compromising democracy
UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi lashed out at the Narendra Modi government, saying the people of the country have to be rescued from a “dangerous regime” that is “compromising” with India’s democracy.
In her address to the newly-constituted Congress Working Committee, she also cautioned the people about the “reign of despair and fear” heaped upon India’s deprived and poor.
She said the rhetoric of Prime Minister Narendra Modi shows his “desperation” reflecting that the “reverse countdown” of the Modi government has begun.
“We are committed to make alliances work and we are all with Congress President Rahul Gandhi in this endeavour.
“We have to rescue our people from a dangerous regime that is compromising with the democracy of India,” she said.
Manmohan Singh rejects culture of constant “self praise and jumlas
Former prime minister Manmohan Singh, in his address assured Rahul Gandhi that he and all other Congressmen will help him in the onerous task of restoring India’s social harmony and economic development.
“I assure Rahul Gandhiji that we will fully support him in his onerous task of restoring India’s social harmony and economic development,” he said, rejecting the culture of constant “self praise and jumlas” (gimmicks), as against solid policy framework for driving the engine of growth.
Singh said the claim of doubling farm income by 2022 will require an agricultural growth rate of 14 per cent, which is nowhere in sight.