Ghulam Nabi Azad to chair Congress task force on Covid

Meanwhile, the Congress Working Committee has decided to postpone the presidential polls of the party due to the surge in Covid-19 cases…reports Asian Lite News.

Congress has set up a task force on Covid and one of the party’s top dissenting voices, Ghulam Nabi Azad, has been appointed as its Chairman.

Others on the 13-member committee include Ambika Soni, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Mukul Wasnik, Pawan Kumar Bansal, K.C. Venugopal, Randeep Surjewala, and Jairam Ramesh.

The inclusion of Azad comes as a surprise as he raised the issue of elections in the party and demanded more visible leadership.

The task force will oversee relief operations run by the party as control rooms have been set at the central and state level, along with efforts by Youth Congress workers.

In its meeting on Monday, the Congress Working Committee passed a resolution, reading: “The Congress Party commits to fighting the Covid-19 pandemic with its entire might and will support every people-friendly initiative of the government in fighting the pandemic.”

“The second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic is nothing short of a grave calamity and a direct consequence of the Modi government’s indifference, insensitivity and incompetence. It is the direct result of the Central government’s willful disregard of scientific advice, its premature declaration of victory over the pandemic (that turned out to be just the first wave), and its unwillingness and inability to plan in advance in spite of warnings sounded not only by public health experts but also by the Standing Committee of Parliament concerned,” it said.

Meanwhile, the Congress Working Committee has decided to postpone the presidential polls of the party due to the surge in Covid-19 cases.

“The CWC considered the election schedule for electing the AICC President as proposed by Central Election Authority of the party.

“In view of the nationwide emergent conditions prevailing on account of unprecedented corona pandemic, the CWC was unanimous that all our energies should be channelised towards saving every life and helping every Covid affected person. The CWC, therefore, unanimously resolved to defer the elections temporarily in the midst of these challenging times,” the Congress’ top decision-making authority said in a resolution.

Party General Secretary Randeep Surjewala, however, clarified that its a temporary deferment due to the present pandemic.

In the CWC meeting held on Monday, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot demanded the postponement of the election which was supported by senior party leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, who was the prime mover in the demand for elections in the organisation in August last year. Digvijaya Singh, meanwhile, demanded Rahul Gandhi be brought back as chief, sources said.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.

The party’s Central Election Authority headed by Madhusudan Mistry will now draw up a new schedule after the pandemic subsides.

The CWC in January had decided that the party will go for organisational polls after the elections in five states are over.

General Secretary, Organisations, K.C. Venugopal had said on January 22 after a crucial CWC meeting that the Congress will have an “elected” party President by June.

The decision to hold the elections for the party President was taken after group of leaders wrote to Sonia Gandhi and demanded “a more visible and permanent” President for the party after Rahul Gandhi stepped down from the post following the party’s defeat in the 2019 general elections.

The rift in the Congress between the dissenting leaders (G-23) and Team Rahul Gandhi was out in the open since then, and led to the exclusion of the former from the Congress campaigners’ list in the five state elections – where the Congress was again out of the reckoning.

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