Congress President Mallik Arjun Kharge Forms New CWC, adds Ex-‘G23’ rebels in team

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New Delhi, 21 Aug (CNI) :Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge reconstituted the party’s top decision-making body, the Congress Working Committee (CWC).

In a significant reshuffle of the Congress Working Committee (CWC), party chief Mallikarjun Kharge on Sunday inducted at least 20 new faces including parliamentarians Shashi Tharoor, Gaurav Gogoi and Manish Tewari, and former Rajasthan deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot in the top executive body ahead of key assembly polls and the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

In the latest organisational rejig, a number of prominent young leaders have been elevated, erstwhile rebels — including those from the now-defunct G23 — have been given due prominence and veterans and loyalists have been rewarded in a balancing act.

The long-awaited reshuffle, ten months after Kharge became the Congress president, “has been able to send across a message of unity in the poll-bound organisation,” claimed a newly elected CWC member. “Kharge has signalled he wants to take everyone along with him.”

The main CWC now has 39 members, up from 25 in the previous avatar. It also has 32 permanent invitees, including some in-charges of state, and 13 special invitees. A total of 84 leaders are in the top executive body.

The expansion was due to the roll-out of the quota for youth, SCs, STs, OBCs and women in the top executive body. But the main CWC has only three members below the age of 50.

Tharoor fought against Kharge for the party’s presidential election last year and has been nominated in the revamped CWC. In 1999, then Congress chief Sonia Gandhi had shown a similar gesture to Jitendra Prasada after he contested against her and got defeated.

“I am honoured by the decision of the @INCIndia President Shri Mallikarjun @Kharge ji and the Congress central leadership to nominate me to the Working Committee. As one who is aware of the historic role played by the CWC in guiding the party over the last 138 years, I am humbled and grateful to be part of this institution, and look forward to the opportunity to serve the party alongside my dedicated colleagues,” Tharoor tweeted.

“None of us can accomplish anything without the lakhs of committed workers who are the lifeblood of the party. Today, above all, I bow to them. The countless Indians who seek a more inclusive and accepting India deserve the best from us,” he added.

The inclusion of former Rajasthan deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot assumes significance ahead of the election in the state. According to a second senior leader, “Pilot’s elevation comes as a part of a peace plan to ensure the party factions in the state fight unitedly in the upcoming poll.”

“I express my gratitude to respected Congress President Mr Mallikarjun Kharge, CPP Chairperson Mrs Sonia Gandhi and former President Mr Rahul Gandhi for making me a member of the Congress Working Committee (CWC). We all will strengthen the customs and ideology of the Congress and take it more strongly to the people,” Pilot said.

Gaurav Gogoi, who initiated the no-confidence motion debate in the Lok Sabha on August 8, has been promoted after the Congress lost two consecutive assembly polls in Assam and one of its key leaders — current Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sharma — had quit the party.

This is the first major organisational reshuffle by Kharge, who became the first non-Gandhi party chief in past 23 years. In the Raipur AICC plenary, the party had decided to introduce quotas for SCs, STs, OBCs, minorities, women and youth. The party had also ruled out any election of the CWC and Kharge was entrusted with nominating all the CWC members.

Former G23 leader Anand Sharma has been retained in the CWC. Similarly, Tharoor, senior Congress leader Manish Tewari, M Veerappa Moily, Mukul Wasnik are also part of the CWC.

“You must remember that all existing G23 leaders had supported Kharge’s candidature in the party poll. Today’s decision underlines that the old rebellion is seen as a closed chapter,” said the first leader.(CNI)

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