Ending months of suspense, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge on Sunday announced the constitution of Congress Working Committee (CWC) — the party’s highest-decision making body — which includes senior leaders like Shashi Tharoor, Sachin Pilot, Priyanka Gandhi and several others.
The inclusion of Pilot came just months ahead of the crucial assembly polls in Rajasthan. While the panel includes 39 general members, it has 32 permanent invitees, including some in-charges of state and 13 special invitees.
The list also includes presidents of the Youth Congress, the National Students’ Union of India, the Mahila Congress and the Seva Dal as ex-officio members. Even under the formula of 50 per cent under 50 years, leaders like Pilot, K Patel and Gaurav Gogoi have found the place under this formula.
Supriya Shrinate, Alka Lamba, Deepender Hooda, Priniti Shinde, Yashomati Thakur, Jothimani and others have been included too under the same formula. In a statement, the party said, “Congress President has constituted the CWC.” Besides Kharge, former party chiefs Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Choudhary, veteran party leaders A.K. Antony, Ambika Soni, Meira Kumar, Digvijay Singh, P. Chidambaram, Tariq Anwar, Mukul Wasnik, Anand Sharma, Kumari Selja, Randeep Singh Surjewala, Ajay Maken have been named.
The new CWC also includes the names of Pilot, Tharoor, former Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, Priyanka Gandhi.
The 39-member CWC list also includes the names of party leaders Lal Thanhawla, Ashokrao Chavan, Gaikhangam, N Raghuveera Reddy, Tamradhwaj Sahu, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Salman Kurshid, Jairam Ramesh, Jitendra Singh, Deepak Babaria, Jagdish Thakor, GA Mir, Avinash Pande, Deepa Das Munshi, Mahendrajeet Singh Malviya, Gogoi, Syed Naseer Hussain, Kamaleshwar Patel and KC Venugopal.
Besides, the party has named Veerappa Moily, Harish Rawat, Pawan Kumar Bansal, Mohan Prakash, Ramesh Chennithala, B.K. Hariprasad, Prathiba Singh, Manish Tewari, Tariq Hameed Karra, Deepender Singh Hooda, Girish Raya Chodankar, T. Subbarami Reddy, K. Raju, Chandrakant Handore, Meenakshi Natarajan, Phulo Devi Netam, Damodar Raja Narasimha and Sudeep Roy Burman as permanent invitees.
The party has included Pallam Raju, Khera, Ganesh Godkhal, Kodikkunil Suresh, Yashomati Thakur, Shrinate, Shinde, Lamba and Vamshi Chand Reddy as special invitees.
State incharges A Chellakumar, Bhakta Charan Das, Ajoy Kumar, Harish Choudhary, Rajeev Shukla, Manickam Tagore, Sukhvinder Randhawa, Manickrao Thakre, Rajani Patel, Kanhaiya Kumar, Gurdeep Sappal, Sachin Rao, Devender Yadav and Manish Chatrath have also found place.
The new CWC was announced almost 10 months after Kharge became the Congress president in October last year. Notably, Tharoor, who has been inducted in the CWC, had contested the party’s presidential elections against Kharge.
Pilot has been included in the 39-member panel, which is being seen as a move to placate the popular leader ahead of Rajasthan polls. Pilot had led the mutiny against the Ashok Gehlot government in 2020, after which he was removed as Deputy Chief Minister and Rajasthan Congress chief.
While, other new entrants to the panel are include Deepa Das Munshi and Syed Naseer Hussain.
Das Munshi is a former MP from West Bengal and the wife of veteran Congress leader and former Union Minister, the late Priya Ranjan Das Munshi.