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Kharge forms 47-member steering committee, retains most of CWC

New Congress Speaker Mallikarjun Kharge on Wednesday set up a 47-member steering committee composed of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and ex-party presidents Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. The interim panel led by him would take the place of the Congress Working Committee, the highest decision-making body, until a new CWC is formed after Kharge’s election is ratified at the party’s plenary session.

All members and regular invitees of the last COR have been retained in the committee except Vivek Bansal. Bansal, a former MLA who was a regular at the previous CWC, is now in charge of the party’s Haryana affairs.

None of the special invitees to the previous CWC under Sonia Gandhi have found a place on the new steering committee announced by Kharge hours after he became the new party congress chairperson. Shashi Tharoor, who fought against Kharge, is not among the panelists. He previously headed the party’s Professional Congress wing but resigned before the party’s presidential election.

The special CWC invitees not included in the new panel are Ajay Kumar Lallu, Chinta Mohan, Deepender Singh Hooda, Sachin Rao, in addition to Seva Dal lead organizer Lalji Desai, IYC head Srinivas BV, NSUI head Neeraj Kundan, Mahila Congress Head Netta D’Souza and President of Intuc G Sanjeeva Reddy. Anand Sharma, a CWC member and a prominent leader of the G23 dissident group who pushed for organizational overhaul, has been retained on the steering committee.

Earlier in the day, shortly after Kharge took over as the new head, all of the party’s CWC members and office holders submitted their resignations to the new party head so he could choose his own team. It is a tradition for all congressional office holders to resign shortly after the election of the new president.

“All CWC members, AICC secretaries and officials have tendered their resignations to the President of Congress,” AICC Secretary General Organization KC Venugopal said. According to a statement from the General Secretary of the AICC (Organization), the steering committee consists of senior party leaders Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, AK Antony, Ambika Soni, Anand Sharma, KC Venugopal, Randeep Surjewala and Digvijaya Singh.

“Under Article XV(b) of the Constitution of the Indian National Congress, the president of the congress established the steering committee that would act in place of the working committee of the congress,” Venugopal said in the order. The CWC is the highest decision-making body of the Congress and the Steering Committee will now make all decisions until the ratification of Kharge’s election at the party’s plenary meeting, attended by all PCC delegates.

According to the party statutes, 11 members of the COR will be nominated and 12 will be elected. In addition, the party’s leader in parliament and the congress president will also be the members of the working committee. The meeting is likely to take place in March next year.

Among those who resigned was Anand Sharma who assured the new chief that he would cooperate fully and thanked Sonia Gandhi for her leadership. Sharma congratulated the new head of Congress, saying, “It was a privilege for me to have served as a member of the CWC with outgoing President Sonia Gandhi and also former President Rahul Gandhi.” “While you assume the office of the President of Congress, I am tendering my resignation from the CWC. I believe it is important for the new president to have the freedom to reconstitute the CWC as required by the provisions of the Constitution of the Indian National Congress,” he said, assuring his support at all. efforts to strengthen the party.

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