Four hours after a key meeting on Sunday, the Congress Working Committee “unanimously reaffirmed” faith in president Sonia Gandhi’s leadership, as well as called for large-scale reforms and corrective measures for an organisational revamp. The CWC asked Sonia Gandhi to address weaknesses and effect necessary changes, as per a statement released after the meeting that was held to address the party’s election debacle in five states.
The top decision-making body of the Congress brainstormed over a way forward and will hold a ‘chinatan shivir’ immediately after the budget session of parliament and the CWC will meet again, said general secretary KC Venugopal.
“Every single member of the CWC wants Sonia Gandhi to guide party till organisational elections are held,” Congress leader Randeep Surjewala said.
The Congress lost Punjab to the Aam Aadmi Party, could not wrest Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur from the BJP and the party’s tally in politically crucial Uttar Pradesh fell to its lowest.
Former party chief Rahul Gandhi, general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Venugopal, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, party’s leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and P Chidambaram were among those who attended the meeting.
The CWC said the election results were a cause of “serious concern” for the party, and that it accepted shortcomings in its election strategy. The party also said it could not overcome the anti-incumbency in Punjab in the short time after effecting a change of leadership. Captain Amarinder Singh was removed from the post of chief minister ahead of the assembly elections and replaced by Charanjit Singh Channi.
Venugopal said, “Including senior leaders, members openly participated in the decision to analyse the results. It was a sincere and fruitful analysis.”
Surjewala said state incharges took responsibility for the drubbing received by the party, sources said.