Cong brass explores pact on nomination for new CWC

Cong brass explores pact on nomination for new CWC

Ahead of next week’s AICC plenary session at Raipur, some influential Congress leaders have started exploring the possibility of hammering out a consensus on constituting the new Congress Working Committee (CWC) through the nomination route by getting the AICC delegates’ at the plenary to ‘authorise’ the Congress president to do the honours. This, even as the Congress leadership formally maintains that “it has an open mind” and is keeping “all options open” – on CWC contest or nomination – “as per the wish” of the delegates.

It is learnt that many leaders are subtly seeking a consensus for the ‘nomination’ route for forming CWC by maintaining that since the party is on the advanced path to many state polls and given the approaching 2024 Lok Sabha polls, efforts should be to maintain ‘unity’ than creating ‘bitterness and divisions’ via “contests”.

“Congress already held a presidential poll, something BJP could not do. Now that is enough, I suppose,” said a leader who is among those favouring nomination. Yet, the leadership is expected to keep “the suspense” on contest or consensus till the Raipur session.

The party constitution provides for half of the 25-odd CWC berths to be filled through “polls” at the plenary, but the leadership has, for a quarter of a century now, averted elections by getting the AICC delegates to authorise the party chief to nominate the entire CWC after the session. Only the party chief and CPP chairperson have reserved berths in the CWC.

“The leadership has an open mind on new CWC and is open to whatever options the majority of AICC delegates want to exercise,” said an AICC functionary, adding the party’s CEC has been asked to be on standby at Raipur. Usually, the leadership brought proposals, or engineered appeals from delegates (who are now handpicked statewise) at the plenary whenever it wanted authorisation for presidential nomination of CWC.


Given the manner in which the Gandhi family and the AICC establishment choreographed Mallikarjun Kharge’s election by handpicked PCC delegates as party chief (despite a spirited fight by Shashi Tharoor), they can also similarly choreograph the election of “an official panel” of candidates in the event of a contest to CWC, more so after the Rahul Yatra. Yet, a contest can also pose some ‘tricky issues’ for the leadership. One, elected CWC members, unlike the nominated one, can’t be shunted out or shepherded around at the will of the leadership, and past experiences showed that elected CWC members often acquired ‘organisational spine’ and became assertive. Second, Tharoor‘s show of bagging 1,000-odd votes in the presidential votes underscored “bigger risks” in the CWC contest given the smaller size of the AICC delegates’ collegium and skills of many likely challengers. Third, some feel that in case of a contest, the AICC plenary could become a stage for playing out the factional fights and pent-up feelings in many PCCs.Why’s Tharoor ‘Cold’ to Contest

Unlike the presidential poll where challengers with adequate seconders can enter the fray once the mandatory notification of election is done, entering the CWC poll solo is not easy as no poll notification for a contest will be made if the president gets delegates’ authorisation for nomination. This could also explain why Tharoor is indicating his lack of enthusiasm in ‘contesting’ for the CWC berth even as many MPs are pushing for his ‘induction’ in CWC, meaning nomination by the party president.

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