There was more to the Congress Working Committee meeting than the fact that it was the first since the grand old party bowed to the winds of change and course-corrected to be more inclusive after acting on an awareness of diversity of opinion within to include a few of the rebellious G-23 members.
There was a sense of renewed purpose in the CWC under a duly elected non-Gandhi member in Mallikarjun Kharge as the president and which was meeting at what is to be seen as an inflection point in the history of the party, and probably that of the nation itself.
Nine years after being dethroned as the leader of UPA-II and thus reduced to a secondary position in national politics, the Congress has recovered from what seemed an unfathomable existential crisis thanks to a decisive win in the Karnataka polls and the conduct of the Bharat Jodo Yatra which may have helped rekindle its sense of commitment.
Holding the meet outside New Delhi and in Hyderabad when Telangana is on the cusp of a significant Assembly polls in which the party must fancy its chances of stepping on a national comeback trail, the party set aside some of its newfound resolve to lie back and let the Opposition alliance not get the impression that the Congress intends to dominate the Opposition bloc as before.
The party’s voice in pointing out the fault lines in national governance — inflation, jobs, horrific clashes in Manipur, communal incidents in Nuh, the state of farmers in the country, the “One Nation, One Election” proposal, reduction of Parliament to a slanging match than do constructive legislative business — was particularly strident.
Reflective of the nearness of India or Bharat-defining general elections of 2024 was former party president Sonia Gandhi taking the role of senior adviser and appealing to the party to call for public unity and self-restraint in not making public comments that may harm party interests. There were 14 resolutions stating what the party stands for on issues and calls went out for raising the limit on SC/ST and OBC quotas.
The Congress must feel that it is better placed now after a democratic CWC exercise, the holding of a rally to stress its public support in a state that used to be a bellwether of national politics and its understanding of the role it is to play in INDIA bloc and, for that matter, in India.