NEW DELHI: The Congress Working Committee (CWC) on Friday decided not to hold presidential elections in a hurry, despite the growing dissent among a section of senior leaders over the delay in addressing leadership issues and organisational polls. Election to the post of party president will now be held in June, said AICC general secretary K C Venugopal.
According to sources, the decision to delay party polls was taken keeping in mind the upcoming assembly elections. The meeting witnessed heated moments with some leaders questioning the party’s reluctance to hold organisational polls. Several leaders, including those who wrote to interim party chief Sonia Gandhi about leadership vacuum, demanded organisational elections be held immediately but they were told that presidential elections will happen first.
This group senior leaders like included Ghulam Nabi Azad, P Chidamabaram, Anand Sharma and Mukul Wasnik. However, another group comprising Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, and former defence minister A K Antony were of the view that presidential elections should happen after the assembly polls in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Assam and Puducherry are over.
Sources said there were heated exchanges between Azad, Anand Sharma and Gehlot over the demand for organisational elections. Gehlot reportedly said the BJP doesn’t talk about internal elections like in the Congress and that the first priority is to fight the state elections. He also said the all of them are here because of the party to which Anand Sharma responded he has also worked for over 40 years for the party.
In May, Sonia will complete two years as interim chief of the Congress after Rahul Gandhi decided to step down following the debacle in Lok Sabha elections in 2019.