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  5. CWC Meet: Sonia Gandhi agrees to continue as Congress chief for next 6 months | Highlights

CWC Meet: Sonia Gandhi agrees to continue as Congress chief for next 6 months | Highlights

CWC meeting held on Monday discussed future leadership of the party after a section of leaders demanded "collective" leadership and another reposing faith in the Gandhi family. During the day-long proceedings, Congress leaders requested Sonia Gandhi to continue as party chief for next 6 months.

India TV Politics Desk Edited by: India TV Politics Desk
New Delhi Updated on: August 24, 2020 19:22 IST
Leadership in focus, CWC meet today: What we know so far
Image Source : PTI

In this file photo dated August 10, 2019, then outgoing Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra at a tribute-paying ceremony of former Delhi CM Shiela Dikshit at Shankar Lal Auditorium in New Delhi.

The Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting held on Monday discussed future leadership of the party after a section of leaders demanded "collective" leadership and another reposing faith in the Gandhi family. During the day-long proceedings, Congress leaders requested Sonia Gandhi to continue as party chief at least for the next 6 months until AICC elections are held.  

Congress Working Committee meet begins | Live Updates

07:14 pm: 

"The CWC notes that internal party issues cannot be deliberated through the media or public fora. CWC urges and advises all concerned to raise such issues only in party fora," KC Venugopal, Congress Working Committee.

"There is freedom to express views but discussion should be held on party forum, not in public domain, members expressed concerns over it," Sonia Gandhi said at CWC adding everyone is family and has to strengthen party together.

"Members expressed faith in Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi and urged her to continue leading party, she agreed. Next meeting to be called soon, probably within 6 months, to elect the new chief. Till then, Sonia Gandhi agreed to remain interim president."

Madam (Sonia Gandhi) has to continue and the election will take place as soon as possible which is the unanimous decision of the working committee: Congress leader and CWC (Congress Working Committee) member, KH Muniyappa

There is no different opinion on leadership and even Ghulam Nabi Azad ji, Mukul Wasnik ji and Anand Sharma ji have given in writing that there is no dispute on leadership: Congress leader and CWC (Congress Working Committee) member, KH Muniyappa

06:02 pm: Sonia Gandhi will remain Congress President: Sources

Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi will continue as party president till the time All India Congress Committee elections (AICC) are held, sources have said.

"Sonia Gandhi to remain Congress party's interim president for now, new chief to be elected within the next 6 months," Sources after Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting concluded after 7 hours.

05:16 pm: Action can be taken against those who wrote letter to Sonia Gandhi if...: Ambika Soni

In CWC, Ambika Soni said as per party constitution, action can be taken against those who wrote to Sonia Gandhi on party leadership. GN Azad, Anand Sharma said they were within limits in raising concerns, still, if someone feels it's a breach of discipline then action can be taken.

Leaders who wrote to Sonia Gandhi over party leadership said in CWC, "There were some concerns for the betterment of the organisation, wrote letter to convey those. Have full faith in the leadership of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi."

04:10 pm: Rahul Gandhi never said it: Ghulam Nabi Azad on ex-party chief's 'collusion with BJP' remark   

What I said was, yesterday some Congress person had said that we did it at behest of BJP and in that context I said, "It is most unfortunate that some colleagues (outside CWC) have accused us of collusion with BJP, and if those people can prove this allegation, I will resign".

"A section of media is wrongly attributing that, in CWC I told Rahul Gandhi to prove that the letter written by us is in collusion with BJP. "Let me make it very clear that Rahul Gandhi has neither in CWC nor outside said that this letter was written at the behest of BJP."

04:08 pm: How long will they remain slave of Congress: Owaisi taunts Ghulam Azad

Ghulam Nabi Azad used to call us BJP's 'B' team. Now, his party's former chief said he colluded with BJP by signing on the letter. Muslim leaders in Congress, who are wasting time, should think for how long they'll remain the slave of Congress leadership," AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi said.

03: 50 pm: Rahul Gandhi never said it, neither in CWC or outside: Ghulam Nabi Azad

Rahul Gandhi never said it, neither in CWC or outside, that this letter (to Sonia Gandhi about party leadership) was written in collusion with BJP, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Congress said.

03:00 pm: Gandhi-Nehru family's existence is in crisis...Congress is finished...: Uma Bharti

"Gandhi-Nehru family's existence is in crisis, their political dominance is over, Congress is finished.. so who stays in what position hardly matters now... Congress should return to Gandhi, the real 'swadeshi' Gandhi without any foreign element," says BJP leader Uma Bharti.

02:29 pm: Ahmed Patel urges Rahul Gandhi to take charge of party

Ahmed Patel, while speaking at the CWC meeting, targeted the "dissenters", saying senior leaders should avoid writing letters. Patel urged Rahul Gandhi to take charge of the party.

02:00 pm: Former Congress social media chief Divya Spandana, responding to Kapil Sibal’s tweet, said, “I think Rahul ji made a mistake. He should have said colluding with the BJP & the media.” 

01:48 pm: Kapil Sibal withdraws earlier tweet over Rahul's 'colluding with BJP remark'

01:35 pm: "Rahul Gandhi hasn't said a word of this nature nor alluded to it": Randeep Singh Surjewala to Kapil Sibbal

01:19 pm: Sanjay Jha takes jibe at Rahul Gandhi for 'colluding with BJP remark'

Suspended Congress leader Sanjay Jha took to Twitter after Rahul Gandhi accused dissenters of colluding with the BJP.  Rahul Gandhi had lashed out at the leaders who had written to Sonia Gandhi.

12:55 pm: Defended Congress in Rajasthan, Manipur...we are colluding with BJP: Kapil Sibal tweets

"Rahul Gandhi says “ we are colluding with BJP “

Succeeded in Rajasthan High Court defending the Congress Party 

Defending party in Manipur to bring down BJP Govt.

Last 30 years have never made a statement in favour of BJP on any issue 

Yet “ we are colluding with the BJP “!"

12:46 pm: Ghulam Nabi Azad: Will resign if found colluding with BJP

 After Rahul Gandhi's remarks, Ghulam Nabi said “If found involved with BJP, will resign." 

12:35 pm: Dissenting group colluding with BJP: Rahul Gandhi

12:15 pm: Rahul Gandhi criticises leaders for going public with issues concerning party, says it is CWC and not media where we discuss

12:05 pm: Rahul Gandhi criticises letter by some leaders, questions its timing

Rahul Gandhi questions timing of letter by 23 Congress leaders to Sonia Gandhi when the party was fighting in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh and when Sonia Gandhi was ill.

12:00 pm: Sonia Gandhi hands over letter to KC Venugopal replying to note sent by dissidents, contents of which were read out: PTI quoting sources

11:44 am: Sonia Gandhi has asked CWC to look for a non-Gandhi chief, say sources.

11:40 am:  Sonia Gandhi asks CWC to relieve her as interim party chief, ex-PM Manmohan Singh urges her to continue: PTI quoting sources

11:34 am: Sonia Gandhi offers to resign as party chief

Sonia Gandhi reiterated her decision and asked the party to begin deliberations to set in place a process to find her replacement. 

11:20 am: Former PM Manmohan Singh, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra attend CWC meet

11:12 am: Sonia Gandhi joins the video conference as the crucial Congress Working Committee meet begins.

11:10 am: CWC meet begins

India Tv - CWC meet begins

Image Source : SCREEN GRAB

CWC meet begins


10:45 am: The CWC meeting comes in the backdrop of letters written by 23 Congress leaders including Kapil Sibal, Shashi Tharoor, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Prithviraj Chavan, Vivek Tankha and Anand Sharma calling for 'full time' active leadership, sweeping reforms and raising questions about the party's condition and direction, as well as demanding the election of the CWC. The leaders have also demanded "collective leadership" in the party. 

10:30 am: J&K Pradesh Congress Committee extends support to Rahul Gandhi

09:40 am: Most Congress workers would like to see Rahul Gandhi as party chief: Sachin Pilot

09: 36 am: Maharashtra Congress leaders passed a resolution on Sunday, stating that Sonia Gandhi to continue as party chief. 

09:00 am: Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Sunday wrote a letter to Rahul Gandhi, urging him to return as the president of the party. Goa Congress unit also backed Gandhi family. 

Sections of the party feel that the uncertainty over the leadership issue should end soon as it will help the party take on the BJP-led government more forcefully. There has been a clamour within a section of Congressmen for Rahul Gandhi to take over as the president of the grand old party again.

Constitution of the central parliamentary board (with party chief and 9 others) to decide on organisational matters and policies. All permanent and special invitees to the CWC have been invited to the meeting, where the leadership issue is also likely to be discussed, besides the current political situation in the country.

Congress CWC meet: Developments

  • May 25, 2019: Rahul Gandhi resigns as Congress President
  • Aug 10, 2019: Congress elects Sonia Gandhi as interim president
  • Aug 17, 2020: Suspended member Sanjay Jha tweets that 100 Congressmen have written to Sonia Gandhi complaining about leadership drift. Congress officially denies the claim.

What letter by top 23 partymen says,

  • Up to 300 Congress office-bearers, ex-CMs, ex Ministers, and MPs sign letter to Sonia saying party is in state of drift and decline and there is a need for urgent correctives
  • The signatories include prominent names like Ghulam Nabi Azad, Prithviraj Chavan,  Kapil Sibal, Shashi Tharoor, Vivek Tankha, Raj Babbar, Sandeep Dikshit, Manish Tewari and Anand Sharma

What letter suggests

Appointment of full-time and effective leadership active in field and available at national and PCC headquarters.

Elections at all levels in a transparent manner, including for CWC

Institutional leadership mechanism to collectively guide revival

Need to unite opposition, rally parties headed by those who left Congress

Developing Scenarios:

Sonia likely to insist on resigning at today's CWC meeting

Demand for Rahul Gandhi to take over likely to be raised in the meeting. However, he is unlikely to accept it.

Sonia could stay on, but on the condition that a letter is chosen within a limited time frame. Proposal for 2-4 vice-presidents/ working presidents doing rounds.

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