Rahul Gandhi’s wait to take over Congress party gets longer

New Delhi(dna): Congress president Sonia Gandhi, whose fourth term was ending in December, will now hold office one more year, as the party’s highest decision making body, the Congress Working Committee pushed back its internal polls by a year. Sonia Gandhi is at the helm of the party since 1998 and as such she is the longest serving Congress president. She was elected for a 5-year term in September 2010 but the resolution adopted by the CWC gives extension of one year not only to her but to all elected in the party at all levels.

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The CWC decided to put off the internal polls to bring in massive changes in the party in view of the worst show during Lok Sabha polls, last year. The CWC also decided that in future the elections will take place every three years instead of five. Senior party leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, who briefed media, said the party will be moving the Election Commission on postponement of internal organisational polls on the ground that it needs additional time to bring in key amendments in the party Constitution.

The amendments approved at the meeting include increasing the reservation for weaker sections–SC, ST, OBC, minorities and women – in party posts from 20 to 50 per cent and also mandating primary members to enrol 25 new members to claim active membership. Through another amendment, the party also reduced the term of membership from five years to three years. This will necessitate organisational polls every three years. The term of all party office-bearers, including that of the Congress President, now stands restored to three years instead of five, but that happens only after the elections next year.

Though the CWC cleared the amendments in the party constitution they will become part of the party constitution only after they are adopted in a Congress plenary. There was no word when the plenary is expected.
Earlier, addressing the CWC members, party president Sonia Gandhi said credit to forcing the government to withdraw amendments in the land bill goes to Congress workers. The party is planning to hold a ‘victory rally.

sometime later in September in Delhi. Sonia Gandhi also spoke of launching ‘similar’ action against the ‘assault’ on issues like labour reforms, women and child development, RTI and MGNREGA. Expressing concern over considerable deterioration in the security situation in India’s neighbourhood, she said jawans and civilians are being increasingly targeted. “Instead of a coherent policy on Pakistan, this government can’t seem to make up its mind on what it should do,” she said. “From aggressively mocking Manmohan Singh and his policy during the election campaign, the prime minister has been reduced to unedifying flip-flops, casting doubts on what he really stands for,” she said

Membership reduced to 3 years
Through another amendment, the party also reduced the term of membership from five years to three years. This will necessitate organisational polls every three years. The term of all party office-bearers, including that of the Congress President, now stands restored to three years instead of five, but that happens only after the elections next year.
with dna