Kharge will nominate members of the highest decision-making body in Congress.

Congress head Mallikarjun Kharge was authorised to propose members of the party’s top decision-making body on Friday, while there were voices in favour of holding elections for it on the first day of its session in Raipur.

Approximately 15,000 delegates have convened in Raipur for the two-day plenary to examine the country’s political condition, economics, foreign policy, agriculture, employment, social justice, etc. The event is anticipated to set the tone for the 2024 national election campaign of the House.

Congress politician Jairam Ramesh reported that the party’s steering committee discussed the Congress Working Committee (CWC) elections, and nearly all 45 members present voted unanimously to authorise Kharge to nominate members to the panel. Ramesh said they are certain that all delegates will back the united decision. He made 16 amendments to the Congress’s constitution’s 32 rules and regulations, which will also be addressed in plenary.

“All former Congress party prime ministers and former presidents would be represented in the Working Committee,” he stated.

Kharge previously urged the steering committee members to freely express themselves and make a joint decision. “Any decision you make will be mine and everyone else’s.”

Kharge stated that the plenary is being convened at a time when democracy and the Constitution are under attack and institutions are in danger. He stated that political actions were being investigated.

The remarks were made one day after Congressman Pawan Khera was removed from an aircraft at the Delhi airport. Khera was apprehended on the tarmac and eventually arrested for his comments against Narendra Modi. The Supreme Court gave him temporary protection, and a lower court released him on bail that evening.

Kharge mentioned that there have been 84 plenary sessions since 1885 and added that the 85th is particularly significant since it celebrates 100 years since Mahatma Gandhi was elected Congress leader.

The 85th plenary opened with a meeting of the steering committee to determine whether or not CWC elections will be held. At the plenary, the party is expected to provide a road map for the 2024 elections and finalise its strategy for creating alliances.

The plenary is being conducted weeks after the conclusion of the Kanyakumari-to-Kashmir foot march Bharat Jodo Yatra led by Rahul Gandhi, which was the party’s largest public outreach in decades.

Kharge said the Bharat Jodo Yatra raised awareness about inflation, unemployment, and economic issues. He asked party members to continue the energy it inspired.

The steering committee approved the plenary agenda. Former Congress presidents Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, as well as general secretary Priyanka Gandhi, were absent from the steering committee meeting. They were anticipated to arrive in Raipur later on Friday.

The CWC has usually had 12 elected members and 11 nominated members, for a total of 25. These include the president of the Congress and the party leader in the House of Representatives.

The 85th plenary will discuss a renewed push for coalition politics and Congress-led coalitions, a new economic vision, and an all-encompassing reservation strategy for the organisation.

The plenary is being conducted prior to several state elections this year, including those in Congress-ruled Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan.

Congress’s triumph in the Himachal Pradesh elections last year followed a succession of defeats that prompted a leader exodus and raised doubts about the leadership’s abilities and competency.

It was expected to boost the party’s morale ahead of the assembly elections in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Tripura, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Telangana, and Nagaland as well as the 2024 national polls.

Since 2014, the Congress has lost 37 assembly elections and been reduced to double digits in two national elections.

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