The extended CWC on Sunday authorised Congress president Rahul Gandhi to forge an alliance with like-minded parties for the 2019 Lok Sabha election to take on the BJP.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the newly-constituted Congress Working Committee (CWC), Pradesh Congress Committee chiefs and Congress Legislature Party (CLP) members from various states.
The party also authorised Gandhi to constitute a committee to work out alliances with various national and regional parties to form a grand national alliance.
Thirty-five to 40 leaders spoke at today’s meeting where they all stressed that the Congress should play a lead role in forging an anti-BJP front.
On July 17, Gandhi reconstituted the party’s highest decision-making body with a blend of experienced and next-generation leaders. Of the 51 members, 23 are in the main panel, followed by 18 permanent invitees and 10 special invitees.
Congress Working Committee meeting: As it happened
# 04:26 pm: I am fighting bigger fights. Everyone has the right to speak in party forum but if a party leader gives a wrong statement and weakens this fight, I will not hesitate to take an action, says Rahul Gandhi.
# 04:01 pm: Congress President Rahul Gandhi has been authorised by Congress Working Committee (CWC) to take decisions on pre-poll and post-poll alliance.
# 03:31 pm: Expansion of our party vote base is one of our biggest tasks. In each constituency, we have to find people who have not voted for us and develop a strategy to reach out to them and win back their trust, says Rahul Gandhi.
Expansion of our party vote base is one of our biggest tasks. In each constituency, we have to find people who have not voted for us and develop a strategy to reach out to them and win back their trust: Congress President Rahul Gandhi during Congress Working Committee meeting pic.twitter.com/kVoWRsJSG5— ANI (@ANI) July 22, 2018
# 01:51 pm: Senior Congress leaders Janardan Dwivedi and Digvijay Singh are not attending Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting. They were invited to attend the CWC meeting. Party president Rahul Gandhi had dropped both the leaders from CWC earlier.
# 01:41 pm: Congress President Rahul Gandhi addresses Extended Congress Working Committee meeting in Delhi.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi addresses Extended Congress Working Committee meeting in Delhi. pic.twitter.com/gWSC5aeMev— ANI (@ANI) July 22, 2018
# 01:37 pm: Congress leaders Sachin Pilot, Shakti Singh Gohil, Ramesh Chennithala in the CWC meeting said we should do a strategic alliance but the Party should remain at the centre of alliance and Rahul Gandhi should be the face of the alliance.
# 01:28 pm: I am saying that alliances will be dependent on where the national leadership takes us and wherever it takes us we will go. People are expressing confidence in Congress now, says Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh.
# 01:06 pm: The Party was strong in 12 states, we can boost our number by three times to bring it to 150 seats. In the rest of the states, alliance with regional parties important: P Chidambaram.
# 12:56 pm: To counter RSS's organisational might and financial power, the opposition has to get together in strategic alliances and that personal ambitions should be kept aside: Sonia Gandhi.
# 12:37 pm: We will support Rahul Gandhi in his "onerous" task of restoring India's social harmony, economic development, says Manmohan Singh.
# 12:34 pm: We are committed to make the alliance work and we are with the Congress president in this endeavour: Sonia Gandhi at CWC.
# 12:32 pm: We have to rescue our people from a dangerous regime that is compromising with the democracy of India: Sonia Gandhi.
# 11:31 am: Sonia Gandhi cautions about the reign of despair and fear heaped upon India’s deprived and poor. Points out that rhetoric of PM Modi shows his desperation reflecting that reverse countdown of Modi Govt has begun, says Surjewala.
# 11:30 am: Dr Manmohan Singh rejects the culture of constant self-praise and Jumlas of PM Modi as against solid policy framework for driving engine of growth. Points out the claim of doubling farm income by 2022 will require an Agriculture Growth Rate of 14%, which is nowhere in sight: RS Surjewala.
# 11:25 am: Rahul Gandhi calls the newly constituted Congress Working Committee (CWC) as an institution comprising of experience and energy, as a bridge between the past, present and the future. Calls upon Congressmen/women to rise and fight for India’s oppressed, says RS Surjewala, Congress.
# 11:04 am: Rahul Gandhi reminds qua the role of Congress as the voice of India as also its responsibility of present and future, as BJP attacks institutions, Dalits, tribals, backwards, minorities and poor: RS Surjewala.
# 10:58 am: Delhi: Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting chaired by Rahul Gandhi underway at Parliament Annexe.
Delhi: Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting chaired by Rahul Gandhi underway at Parliament Annexe. pic.twitter.com/EpYVCKGXgK— ANI (@ANI) July 22, 2018
# 10:47 am: Delhi: Former PM Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi arrive at Parliament Annexe for Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting, which will be chaired by Rahul Gandhi.
# 10:33 am: Delhi: Leaders arrive at Parliament Annexe for Congress Working Committee(CWC) meeting, it will be chaired by Rahul Gandhi.
Besides the state chiefs and legislature party leaders, the meeting marked attendance of All India Congress Committee (AICC) secretaries, joint secretaries, heads of departments and cells, office bearers of the Congress Parliamentary Party and members of the central election committee, a panel that finalises the candidates for any state or Lok Sabha polls.
The CWC meet came seven months after Rahul Gandhi in December 2017, was elected unopposed as president of the Indian National Congress and replaced his mother and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.
(With inputs from PTI)