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AICC Plenary Session: Gandhis Arrive In Raipur As Cong Decides To Vest Powers With Kharge For Key Appointments

Former Congress Presidents Sonia and Rahul Gandhi arrived in Raipur, Chhattisgarh for the 85th AICC Plenary Session only after the Steering Committee meeting decided that incumbent party president Mallikarjun Kharge should be given the power of selecting CWC members. It was as if the Gandhis did not want to be seen as the “invisible hand” behind the move. In fact, the Congress made it seem as if there was no way the Gandhis could have even communicated their view via phone. “Every member tabled their opinion and with everyone’s consent the Select Committee decided that the party president should pick CWC members,” said Congress leader Jairam Ramesh. He asserted that all the 45 members were present and there was no zoom meeting. The consensus was to go for appointments, though some had batted for elections as the party was going for affirmative action; there were going to be 16 amendments to the party constitution. Party sources said the AICC delegates list itself was highly doctored as it did not have adequate representation from the states. Not having elections is a bit odd and could go against Kharge as at least under two non-Gandhi Congress Presidents such as PV Narasimha Rao and Sitaram Kesri, there were CWC elections. Rahul had encouraged elections to the party president’s post but Gandhis were not happy when Shashi Tharoor entered the fray last October. Kerala PCC is still recovering from the impact of Tharoor’s contest.