The Congress Working Committee, the party’s highest decision-making body, on Sunday authorised party chief Rahul Gandhi to take decisions on pre-poll and post-poll alliances for the upcoming 2019 Lok Sabha elections. AICC General Secretary Ashok Gehlot said the Congress chief would form the election campaign committee.
“Rahul Gandhi has been authorised to form the election campaign committee and take decisions on the pre-poll and post-poll alliance,” Gehlot said. While Congress has advocated a policy of forging state-specific alliances to tackle the Narendra Modi juggernaut, Gandhi has kept the cards close to his chest for next year’s elections.
Addressing the Congress Working Committee, which met for the first time under his leadership, Gandhi appealed to the party workers to come together to “win back the trust” of the people. Outlining the goals for the party workers ahead of the 2019 elections, the Gandhi scion said, “Expansion of party vote base is one of our biggest tasks.”
Calling the CWC a bridge between the past, present and the future, Gandhi urged members to stand and fight for “India’s oppressed.” He further emphasised on the need to build a good strategy for the upcoming elections, saying, “In each constituency, we have to find people who have not voted for us, develop a strategy to win back their trust.”
The meeting was also attended by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who took the opportunity to lash out at the Modi government for its “dangerous regime” and “culture of constant self-praise and jumlas”.
Sonia Gandhi took a swipe at the NDA government, saying the rhetoric of Prime Minister Narendra Modi showed his “desperation” and it reflected that the “reverse countdown” of the BJP-led government had begun.
Stating that the party was firmly behind Gandhi, Manmohan Singh said, “We will support Rahul Gandhi in his onerous task of restoring India’s social harmony, economic development.” The newly reconstituted CWC under Gandhi has a blend of old and new politicians. Gandhi has, however, dropped veterans like Digvijaya Singh, C P Joshi, Janardan Dwivedi, Sushil Kumar Shinde and Oscar Fernandes.
Taking a dig at the Congress’ bid to unite the opposition against PM Modi, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said the party was playing the role of a suicide bomber and it would sink other parties too. Calling the CWC as “Congress Darbari Committee”, Patra said all negative decisions were taken in the meeting whose sole focus was defeating Modi. “Congress is playing the role of a suicide bomber. They have decided not to allow growth,” he said. Countering Sonia Gandhi, Patra said the reverse countdown of dynastic politics had started back in 2014.