Friday, Mar 23, 2018 | Last Update : 08:54 AM IST
Presently the Congress’ constitution says that 10 members of the CWC are to be elected by delegates and the party president can nominate another 10.
New Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s plan to institutionalise change in the party seems to have hit its first roadblock. A votary of internal party democracy and elections within the Congress, Mr Gandhi now seems to have gone back on his own mantra. Insiders claim that the party president is suddenly not too keen on holding elections to pick members of the Congress Working Committee (CWC), the apex decision-making body of the party, as this could change the equation between the old and the new guard.
However, the final call on whether elections will be held or not is to be taken in the party’s plenary session that’s to be held next week in Delhi.
Soon after he took over as Congress president in December, Mr Gandhi had said that he intended to hold elections to the 12 positions in the CWC, but there seems to be resistance from within the party as many want the system of nominations to continue.
In her 19-year tenure as party president, Mrs Sonia Gandhi preferred to nominate members to the CWC instead of taking the election route.
Senior Congress leaders say that Mr Gandhi should be given a free hand to appoint members of his choice to the CWC as it was done earlier.
Presently the Congress’ constitution says that 10 members of the CWC are to be elected by delegates and the party president can nominate another 10. The committee must have at least 20 members, though it often has more permanent invitees.
The Congress is also mulling over a constitutional change. It may introduce a clause to have at least 25 per cent fresh faces in every party structure, CWC downwards.
When Mr Gandhi was in charge of party’s frontal organisations — the Indian Youth Congress (IYC) and National Students Union of India (NSUI) — he had introduced the internal elections. Members of frontal organisations voted to pick officebearers. There were allegations that money power was used during these elections.
During the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Mr Gandhi, then Congress’ vice-president, tried to introduce USA-type primaries for selection of candidates to contest Lok Sabha elections. The idea had to be shelved before it was implemented and has not been taken up since.