CWC asks Rahul to take on Leader of Opposition mantle in LS; he says will decide 'very soon'

A resolution was unanimously passed by the CWC, requesting Rahul Gandhi to assume the position of the Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha.
Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge with party leaders Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and others during the extended Congress Working Committee meeting, in New Delhi, Saturday, June 8, 2024.
Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge with party leaders Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and others during the extended Congress Working Committee meeting, in New Delhi, Saturday, June 8, 2024.

New Delhi | The Congress Working Committee (CWC) on Saturday unanimously urged Rahul Gandhi to take on the mantle of the Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha to which he told the party's top brass that he will take a decision on it "very soon".

At a meeting of the CWC, the party's highest decision-making body, chaired by Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge and attended by Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, among others, the party's Lok Sabha polls showing was hailed but it was also decided that separate committees would be set up in states where the performance was not good or below expectations, to take corrective measures.

Kharge said the Lok Sabha poll mandate is a "decisive rejection" of the politics of divisiveness and hate, and stressed that the INDIA bloc must continue functioning cohesively both inside and outside Parliament.

Two resolutions were unanimously passed by the CWC, including one requesting Rahul Gandhi to assume the position of the Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha.

Asked if had agreed to take on the position, Congress general secretary K C Venugopal said Gandhi took note of the sentiments of the CWC members and told them that he would take a decision on it "very soon".

In the other resolution, the CWC congratulated the people for voting so powerfully to preserve democracy, protect the Constitution and enhance social and economic justice.

"They have decisively rejected both the substance and style of governance over the past decade. The verdict of the people is not just a political loss but a personal and moral defeat for the Prime Minister who sought the mandate in his name and ran a campaign anchored in lies, hate, prejudice, divisiveness and extreme bigotry," the resolution alleged.

The verdict of the people is clearly against the undermining of democracy and democratic institutions that has taken place since 2014, it said.

In his opening remarks at the meeting, Kharge asserted that while celebrating its "revival", the party should pause a little as it did not perform to its abilities and expectations in some states.

"Further, we could not repeat our performance in states where we had previously done well in Vidhan Sabha elections and formed the government," he said.

Separate discussions on each such state will be held soon, the Congress chief said.

"We have to take urgent remedial measures. These are states which have traditionally favoured the Congress, where we have opportunities which we have to harness not for our own advantage but for the benefit of our people. This exercise I propose to hold very soon," he said.

Kharge further said whether the party is in power or not, its work continues amongst people "24 hours, 365 days", and raise their issues.

"People have spoken against the dictatorial and anti-democratic ways of the ruling party. It is a decisive rejection of the politics of the last 10 years. It is rejection of the politics of divisiveness, hate and polarisation," Kharge said.

"I want to draw your attention to the fact that wherever Bharat Jodo Yatra went we saw an increase in the vote percentage and number of seats for the Congress party," he said.

Kharge also hailed INDIA bloc partners, saying each party played its designated role in different states, and each party contributed to the other.

"Our determination is that the INDIA group must continue. We must function cohesively and collectively both in Parliament and outside," he said.

The issues that we raised in the election campaign are issues that are bothering the people of India. We have to continue to raise them both in Parliament and outside, Kharge said.

In its resolution, the CWC noted that the people of the country had placed the party "firmly on the path of revival".

"The party fought a superb campaign the heart of which was a vigorous defence of our republic's Constitution and the provisions for reservations for scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and OBCs. We provided a clear alternative political, economic and social vision," it said.

"The campaign had a distinctive pro-poor focus and highlighted the urgent need for a nation-wide socio-economic caste census to deepen social justice and empowerment and for addressing the demands of youth and farmers immediately," the CWC resolution said.

The CWC also hailed the roles played by Kharge, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi during the Lok Sabha polls.

The CWC said that former Congress president Rahul Gandhi has to be singled out largely because of the Bharat Jodo Yatra and the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra that he designed and led.

"Both these Yatras that reflected his own thinking and personality were historic turning points in our nation’s politics and instilled hope and confidence in lakhs of our workers and crores of our voters," the resolution said.

Rahul Gandhi election campaign was single-minded, sharp and pointed and more than any other individual it was he who made the protection of our republic's Constitution the central issue in the 2024 elections, the CWC said.

Briefing the media after the meeting, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said the committees would carry out a thorough review after which they would submit their respective reports to the Congress president.

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