Congress Working Committee postpones party president election due to Covid

Hours after the Congress Working Committee gathered virtually on Monday to brainstorm over the party’s poll performance, the party leadership decided to postpone the election for the post of Congress president till the Covid-19 situation improves in the country, PTI reported.

Over the past year, senior leaders like Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma, Shashi Tharoor and Kapil Sibal have called for “full-time” and “effective leadership” that will be “visible” and “active” in the field.

Speaking over the party’s performance in the recently held Assembly polls, interim party chief Sonia Gandhi said they should “take note of the setbacks and put the house in order”.

“A small group will be set up to look at every aspect that caused the party’s electoral reverses. We need to candidly understand as to why the Congress failed to dislodge incumbent govts in Kerala and Assam, and drew a complete blank in West Bengal,” Gandhi added.

“These will yield uncomfortable lessons, but if we do not face up to the reality, if we do not look the facts in the face, we will not draw the right lessons,” she noted.

Gandhi’s statements come days after she described their performance in last month’s Assembly elections as “very disappointing”. The Congress struggled to appeal to voters in this round of Assembly elections.

In the recently-concluded Assembly polls, the party failed to wrest back power in Kerala and Assam and drew a blank in West Bengal. It also lost out in Puducherry. The deliberations would help the Congress prepare for the next round of Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur.

In Bengal, where the party joined hands with the Left and the ISF, it was shut out and the alliance was routed. The Trinamool swept to victory with 213 seats while the BJP won 77.

In Assam, the party did marginally better, winning 29 of 95 seats it contested. But the opposition alliance failed to challenge the BJP, winning just 50 seats as against the ruling party’s 75.

In Kerala, the Congress held its ground, losing just one seat when compared to 2016 when it had won 41. The Left front, however, registered a commanding win by claiming 99 seats.

In Tamil Nadu, the party was part of the winning DMK-led alliance and performed relatively better, winning 18 of 25 allocated seats. It, however, failed to return to power in Puducherry as the NR Congress-BJP pairing won 16 of 30 seats.