NEW DELHI: Senior Congress Ghulam Nabi Azad, who was among the 23 leaders who sent a letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi calling for sweeping changes in the party, on Thursday strongly pitched for elections to the Congress Working Committee and said the party chief should be elected and it is their “victory” that they will have a “full-time president” after six months.
He also pitched for elections to the key organisational posts of state chief and district chief.

“Anyone who has a genuine interest in the internal working dynamics of Congress would welcome our proposal to have every state and district president as being elected. The entire Congress Working Committee should be elected,” Azad told ANI.
Azad, who is Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, defended the move to write the letter and said their effort was to make the party strong and active and those who simply got “appointment cards” continue to oppose their proposal.
“The intention is to make Congress active and strong. But those who simply got ‘appointment cards’ continue to oppose our proposal. What’s the harm in having elected CWC members who will have fixed tenures in the party,” he said.
CWC is the highest decision-making body of the party.

Responding to a query, Azad referred to the stormy meeting of the Congress Working Committee and said both Sonia Gandhi and party leader Rahul Gandhi showed statesmanship.
“In fact Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi said let’s do the election within a month but we said it’s not possible, So it’s our victory that after six months we will have a full-time president,” he said.
Azad said it will not be fair to compel Sonia Gandhi for elections from block to CWC.
“We will raise it to next president who will be elected,” he said.
Azad, a former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, said the party should have an elected president.
“I don’t have any problem. Whosoever becomes president, should be elected, Rahulji was elected for five years but he resigned and we had to elect interim president,” he said.

The CWC meeting was held in the backdrop of a letter in which Azad and 22 other leaders had called for “full time” active leadership, sweeping reforms and elections of the CWC. There was also a suggestion for a mechanism for collective leadership to guide the party’s revival.
Several leaders in the party, including party chief ministers, had raised questions over the letter and the issue figured in the CWC meeting.
The resolution adopted at the meeting said that “CWC makes it clear that no one will be or can be permitted to undermine or weaken the party and its leadership at this juncture”.
It said the responsibility of every Congress worker and leader today is to fight the pernicious assault on India’s democracy, pluralism and diversity by the Modi government.
The resolution said inner-party issues cannot be deliberated through the media or in public and urged all concerned to raise such issues only in party fora in the interest of propriety and discipline.
The resolution requested Sonia Gandhi “to continue to lead the Indian National Congress” until such time as circumstances will permit an AICC session to be convened.
It authorised her to make necessary organisational changes that she may deem appropriate to take on the challenges faced by the party.
Apart from hailing the leadership of Sonia Gandhi, the CWC also lauded the role of party leader Rahul Gandhi, saying he has resolutely led the fight against the BJP-led government from the front.
Sonia Gandhi was appointed interim president of the party in August last year after Rahul Gandhi resigned, taking responsibility for the party’s dismal performance in the Lok Sabha polls.


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