The Congress Working Committee (CWC), the highest decision-making body of the Congress, will meet in Ahmedabad on February 28. The meeting comes as the party gears up to challenge the BJP in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
State Congress president Amit Chavda here on Saturday said that party president Rahul Gandhi, his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who was recently appointed AICC general secretary for East Uttar Pradesh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will be among a host of party leaders who will be attending the meeting. “The CWC will give voice to the questions the people of India and of Gujarat have been asking from the BJP government,” Chavda said.
The meeting will commence after an all-religion prayer meet at Sabarmati Ashram.
This is for the first time after 1960 that the CWC meet will be held in Gujarat. Except in October 2018, when it was held at Wardha’s Sevagram Ashram in Maharashtra to mark the 150 birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the CWC normally meets in New Delhi.
Senior party leaders said that the idea behind choosing Gujarat for holding the CWC meeting is to challenge Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah, the two top decision makers of the BJP, on their home turf as both hail from the state.
They also said that by holding the CWC meeting in Gujarat, the party would try to strengthen its the base in the state after the above expectation results in the 2017 Assembly polls. “It would also help in reclaiming the legacy of Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel which is being usurped by the BJP,” a senior leader said referring to the Prime Minister’s consistent attack on the Congress accusing it of not giving due recognition to Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
The Congress leadership has been focussing on Gujarat for some time in the hope of winning most of the 26 Lok Sabha seats in the state — in the 2014 polls, Congress had not won a single Lok Sabha seat in Gujarat. Rahul Gandhi addressed his pre-election rally in Valsad district on February 14. Earlier, the same venue was preferred to launch parliamentary election campaigns by Indira Gandhi in 1980, Rajiv Gandhi in 1984 and Sonia Gandhi in 2004.
According to the Congress constitution, the CWC shall consist of the president of the party, its leader in Parliament, and 23 other members, of whom 12 will be elected by the All India Congress Committee (AICC, the party’s central decision-making assembly), and the rest shall be appointed by the party president. The CWC technically has the power to remove or appoint the party president.