New Delhi: The Congress Working Committee on Tuesday extended the tenure of the party president Sonia Gandhi for another year and also further lengthened the process of completing the party organaisational elections. With these decision — as ET reported earlier in the day — the chances of party vice president Rahul Gandhi taking over as party president this year has become remote. However, the CWC also took care to do a public boosting up of Rahul Gandhi’s image by hailing him as the architect of the Congress’ victory in forcing the Modi government to give up its attempty to amend the 2013 Land Acquisition Act.
The party’s top leadership prepared the ground for extending Sonia Gandhi’s presidential tenure by adopting two key amendments to the party constitution; first one to revive the old system of having both ‘active’ and ‘ordinary’ memberships. Secondly, to revert to the three-year terms of party’s office-bearers in the stead of the preset five-year term, as made in the 2012 AICC session.
With these two amendments, it becomes mandatory for the CWC yo extend the dedline of the ongoing organisational elections, now to be completed with the new format, resulting in Sonia Gandhi’s tenure too being extended beyond its 31, December.
Though Rahul Gandhi will continue to take more and more central role in the organisational functioning of the leadership, the CWC decision, for all practical purpose, means, the leadership prering to continue with the status quo in the leadership for some more time. As ET reportedl, there is a growing feeling among leaders, inclding Gandhis, that given the stupendous challenges and tasks the party, reeling under its worst-ever crisis, facing under the hostile Modi regime, the leadership should continue to tap the experience and skills of the senior for some more time before Rahul Gandhi takes over with his younger team.
At the same time party will continue to advertise Rahul gandhi as its de factor leader and will also hold a rally in Delhi later this month to hail his role in the resistance against the attempts to dilute the lamd Bill.
Sonia lashes out at Modi government
During her presidential address to the CWC earlier in the day, Sonia Gandhi launched a frontal attack on the Modi regime. “The Modi government has failed abysmally to match words with deeds, match media events with actual accomplishments and match headlines with substance…The economy is on a downslide while prices continue to rise,” she siad. Taking a jibe at government’s U-turn on the land bill, she said, “”The U-turn on the land bill is evidence that the Narendra Modi government is out of touch with the ground realities. It has become painfully clear that most of the pledges made by the prime minister during his election campaigns are nothing more than hawa baazi,” the Congress president said.
Then she hailed Rahul Gandhi’s role in fighting the government over land Bill. “”Thanks to our party’s sustained campaign, the government has been compelled to withdraw its anti-farmer amendments. The credit for this goes to every Congress worker who, under (party vice president) Rahul Gandhi’s active guidance, carried out a sustained agitation,” she said
Charging the Modi government with undermining Parliament, Gandhi said, “”The Modi government first promulgated a draconian land ordinance. For reasons best known to it, the government chose to disregard the will of parliament and displayed an inexplicable hurry to snatch land from our farmers”.
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