Congress 'Task Force- 2024' goes into sleep mode? Leaders await Rahul's return from abroad

The Task Force-2024 held its first meeting on May 24. Thereafter, there continues to be confusion over the role and mandate of the group. 

Published: 05th June 2022 05:54 PM  |   Last Updated: 05th June 2022 06:01 PM   |  A+A-

Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi with Rahul Gandhi

Lost in Thought: Sonia Gandhi with Rahul Gandhi (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Days after Congress ‘Task Force- 2024’ held its first meeting on May 24, there continues to be confusion over the role and mandate of the group. The group leaders await the return of former party chief Rahul Gandhi from abroad to get some clarity on the matter and the way forward. 

In pursuance of the Udaipur Declaration, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi had announced ‘Task Force- 2024’ consisting of P Chidambaram, Jairam Ramesh, Mukul Wasnik, KC Venugopal, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Ajay Maken, Randeep Surjewala and Sunil Kanugolu to look into party’s preparedness in the run-up to 2024 Lok Sabha elections and other elections.

Sources said that the first meeting on May 24 was called at very short notice after a message was sent from general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s office. Some members attended in person while others joined via video-conferencing. The party’s official statement said that the group will “meet every 72 hours or more” and prepare a detailed plan on each of the subjects: organization, finances, media communication, and strategy, grassroots connect, election management, and other issues.

“The group hasn’t met since then. During an informal discussion, it was felt that role and mandate need to be further discussed with Rahul ji, who went abroad after the Udaipur meet. Now, that he (Rahul) has returned Saturday, the group will meet him and Sonia ji to get clarity on the issues,” said sources.

Another leader cited the Rajya Sabha elections as the reason for the delay in the meeting of the group. Among 8 members, 5 are in the fray for upper house and birth. The party has nominated Chidambaram from Tamil Nadu, Ramesh from Karnataka, Wasnik and Surjewala from Rajasthan, and Maken from Haryana. There is a contest for Maken’s seat with the entry of media baron and former Congress leader Venod Sharma’s son, Kartikeya Sharma as an independent having the support of the BJP.    

During the meeting, members discussed that the group also needs to focus on key upcoming assembly elections till 2024, keeping in mind that two-Congress ruled states –Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh – will witness polling next year. Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, which remain a direct Congress-BJP fight also need urgent attention, in order to quell the infighting and put the house in order to focus on winning.

The Congress last won an assembly election in 2018 and the groups acknowledged that it needs to win in some states to boost the morale of party workers before 2024.  “We will have a detailed meeting with Rahul Ji to discuss the way forward for the Task Force – 2024. After discussion, the members of various committees under shortlisted subjects. It has to be done at the earliest so that we hit the ground. The group just cannot focus on 2024 without working for election-bound states to reach out to the people,” said a member of the group.


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