The Congress party has hit back at party leaders Sandeep Dikshit and Shashi Tharoor over their demand for fresh elections to choose a new party president. Party spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala on Thursday suggested that they read the resolution of the Congress Working Committee before making statements in the public. The CWC, the highest decision-making body of the Congress, had passed a resolution in May last year unanimously rejected Rahul Gandhi’s resignation and requested him to continue to guide the party. In August’s meet, Rahul’s resignation was accepted and his mother Sonia Gandhi was selected as the interim Congress president till the time regular elections are held in he CWC.
Sandeep Dikshit, the son of late Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, had recently expressed displeasure over the party leadership’s failure to find a new president, saying senior leaders were "scared who will bell the cat".
Surjewala said if Sandeep and leaders like him worked hard in their own constituencies, the party will surely win. "Instead of giving statements on social media and interviews in the media, if Sandeep Dikshit works hard in his own constituency and politically encash the work initiated during Sheila Dikshit’s rule, the Congress will emerge victorious. It is my appeal to every leader like Dikshit that instead of giving knowledge to the entire country, they should first show the benefits of their own work done in their constituencies," he said.
On Tharoor’s comment, Surjewala said that the Congress Working Committee has already decided on issue of the party president and suggested that he read the resolution. "If anyone has any doubts about this, he should kindly read the resolution of the CWC before giving any statements in public and they will gain some knowledge," he said.
Tharoor on Thursday backed Sandeep’s remarks and called for holding fresh elections for the party’s president post to infuse fresh vigour in the party. He also said elections should take place for the 12 elected seats in the CWC.
"What Sandeep Dikshit said openly is what dozens of party leaders from across the country are saying privately, including many with responsible positions in the Party. I renew my appeal to CWC to hold leadership elections to energise workers and inspire voters," he tweeted.
According to the Congress party’s constitution, twelve of the 23 CWC members should be elected by AICC delegates. The last elections to elect the 12 members had taken place in 1997 when Sitaram Kesri was the president of the Indian National Congress.
Ever since PM Rajiv Gandhi’s wife Sonia Gandhi became Congress president in 1998, the elections to elect CWC members never took place and all the members were nominated by the party chief.