New Delhi: Party president Mallikarjun Kharge has appointed 39 members to the main body of a fresh Congress Working Committee (CWC) on Sunday (August 20).
The CWC is the Congress’ apex decision-making body.
Kharge, who was elected party president in October last year, had set up an interim ‘steering committee’ in the same month in lieu of a CWC after existing members resigned to enable him to choose his own team.
The party confirmed in a series of meetings held in Raipur in February this year that CWC members would be appointed by Kharge rather than be elected.
Although the party suggested in May last year that it would reserve half of all CWC posts for leaders under 50 years of age, media reports have pointed out that only three of the CWC’s 39 new main members are younger than 50.
But that can be attributed to an amendment the party made to its constitution saying it will reserve 50% of the CWC’s seats for leaders from the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes, youth, women and minorities, the Indian Express reported.
The Congress President Shri @kharge has constituted the Congress Working Committee.
Here is the list: pic.twitter.com/dwPdbtxvY5
— Congress (@INCIndia) August 20, 2023
Among those in the CWC’s current roster are the Nehru-Gandhi family scions Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Vadra, former party president Sonia Gandhi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, party Lok Sabha leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, party general secretary-in-charge for communications Jairam Ramesh and Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor.
“As one who is aware of the historic role played by the CWC in guiding the party over the last 138 years, I am humbled and grateful to be part of this institution, and look forward to the opportunity to serve the party alongside my dedicated colleagues,” Tharoor said of his appointment to the CWC on X (formerly Twitter).
He continued: “None of us can accomplish anything without the lakhs of committed workers who are the lifeblood of the party. Today, above all, I bow to them. The countless Indians who seek a more inclusive and accepting India deserve the best from us.”
#WATCH | Congress MP Shashi Tharoor says, “…I am honoured by the decision of the Indian National Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge and the Congress central leadership to make me a full member of the Congress Working Committee…I am deeply humbled and grateful to be a part… https://t.co/eZl8nrZriZ pic.twitter.com/l93nSo8pLL
— ANI (@ANI) August 20, 2023
Another new entrant to the committee other than Tharoor is Rajasthan MLA Sachin Pilot, who made public his qualms with the state unit of the party earlier this year.
There are also 18 permanent invitees in the CWC other than the 39 main members, nine special invitees, four ex-officio members as well as 14 incharges.
The latter list includes former student leader Kanhaiya Kumar, who was appointed the All India Congress Committee incharge for the National Students’ Union of India.