Cong to get elected party chief by June: Venugopal
New Delhi, Jan 22 (IANS) The Congress will have an ‘elected’ party President by June, its General Secretary (Organisations) KC Venugopal said here on Friday after a crucial Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting.
Party sources said that several senior party leaders had raised the issue of CWC elections as well, which led to heated arguments. The party however denied any such happening.
Venugopal said that no dispute whatsoever on organisational elections arose at the “fruitful meeting”.
Addressing a press conference after the meeting that went on for three-and-a-half hours, Venugopal said: “The CWC discussed the organisational elections slated to be held in May. But CWC members unanimously requested interim chief Sonia Gandhi that the party elections should not interfere with Assembly polls in several states in the coming months.”
He said that the CWC members thereby requested for rescheduling of the organisational elections. “Finally, the CWC decided that an elected party President will be on the post in June 2021 at any cost,” Venugopal said.
As for ‘heated arguments’ between former Union Ministers Anand Sharma, Ghulam Nabi Azad and others who differed on the organisational elections, the Congress leader said: “There was no big debate in the CWC. We will conduct party election as per its constitution. And the schedule will be out very soon.”
“Some change in schedule was required due to coming Assembly elections (in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Assam, West Bengal, and Puducherry) and that was taken into consideration; the party will announce the election schedule accordingly,” he said.
Asked if there was demand for elections to the CWC as well, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said: “Don’t get misguided. Don’t fall for rumours. The leaders whose names have been taken are not dissenters — they are our respected leaders and they are our family members. And we all were unanimous that the party election schedule be postponed for a month.”
Even as Surjewala said that there were not heated arguments in the meeting, the party source present there said that Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot raised the issue of demand by a few leaders for organisational elections and questioned if they had no faith in Congress leadership.
A fuming Anand Sharma, one of the 23 signatories to a letter to Sonia Gandhi in August last year, retorted by demanding CWC elections as well.
“We will have to look into the party constitution once again to see if elections to the posts of Congress President and Working President can be held simultaneously or not. Elections will definitely be held — we are not saying that elections to the CWC will not be held, Venugopal said.