The new Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge formed a steering committee of 47 members, including Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh and Rahul Gandhi. The committee will replace the working committee of the congress, the party’s highest decision-making body, until the plenary session. The new members of the working committee will be elected at the next AICC (All India Congress Committee) meeting.
This morning, members of the National People’s Congress Working Committee resigned. This is part of the assembly when a new chief is elected to allow him to choose his team.
“All CWC members, AICC secretary generals and principals have tendered their resignations to the Congress president,” said KC Venugopal, secretary general of the AICC organization. All office heads – general secretary and chief – are now included in the steering committee.
However, special invitees like Sachin Pilot and Deependra Hooda were not included on the steering committee.
Mr Kharge insisted that he believed in collective leadership and would consult Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi if needed.
“They have done good things for the country. Their advice will benefit the party … so I will definitely seek their advice and support. There is nothing to be ashamed of,” he said ahead of the party’s internal polls.
Elected earlier this month after a contest with senior party leader and Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor, Mr Kharge had said he would implement the party’s Udaipur Declaration, and try to address problems of youth, farmers, women and small traaders.
The elections within Congress came after repeated calls for change and the search for a candidate against Shahi Tharoor.
When Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gallot withdrew from the race even before it started, Mr Harg was a last-minute contestant, persuaded by some central leaders to take part.
Mr Gallot’s candidacy, initially seen as the front-runner, was sideways after his loyalist MLA launched a public revolt in Rajasthan to prevent his arch-rival Sachin Pilot from succeeding him as chief minister.