Congress president Rahul Gandhi Sunday chaired his first meeting of the newly constituted Congress Working Committee (CWC), after taking over the reins of the party from Sonia Gandhi in December last year. Calling the CWC as a bridge between the past, present and the future, Gandhi urged members to stand and fight for “India’s oppressed”.
He reminded them of Congress’ role as the “voice of India” and its responsibility of “present and future”, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said.
Also speaking at the meeting, former party president Sonia Gandhi alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “rhetoric” reflects his “desperation” as the BJP’s days in power are numbered.
Former prime minister Manmohan Singh, who was also in attendance, rejected the culture of constant self-praise and “jumlas” of PM Modi.
He pointed out that BJP’s claim of doubling farm income by 2022 will require an agriculture sector to grow at a rate of 14 per cent, which, he said, was nowhere in sight.
Gandhi, earlier this week, revamped the committee and dropped veterans like Digvijaya Singh, C P Joshi, Janardan Dwivedi, Sushil Kumar Shinde and Oscar Fernandes. Opting for a blend of experience and youth, Gandhi appointed Jyotiraditya Scindia, Jitin Prasada, Tarun Gogoi, Siddaramaiah, Sheila Dikshit, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mallikarjun Kharge to the committee.
Rahul Gandhi also expanded the CWC, increasing the number of permanent and special invitees. The strength of the new body is 51 — 23 main members, 18 permanent invitees and 10 special invitees. However, the Congress chief who had recently voiced his support for 33 per cent reservation for women in Lok Sabha and state Assemblies has included only three women — Sonia Gandhi, Ambika Soni and Kumari Selja — in the committee.
Meanwhile veteran politician and former Parliament member Triq Hameed Karra also attended the meeting as permanent invitee. This is for the first time that any congress leader from Kashmir to make it to the highest decision making body of the Congress.