In the letter, Congress leaders had suggested decentralisation of power, empowerment of state unit elections to the organisation at all levels, and urgent constitution of a central parliamentary board.
Congress leader Kapil Sibal
Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal has said that there is no clarity yet on when his party will hold an internal election to appoint a full-time President. Sibal was among 23 leaders who wrote to Sonia Gandhi last year calling for sweeping changes including elections to elect leaders from top to bottom to be able to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party and revive the grand old party.
In the letter, Congress leaders had suggested decentralisation of power, empowerment of state unit elections to the organisation at all levels, and urgent constitution of a central parliamentary board. Besides Sibal, some of the other signatories of the letter were Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma, Manish Tewari, Shashi Tharoor, Vivek Tankha, Mukul Wasnik, Jitin Prasada, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, M Veerappa Moily, Prithviraj Chavan, Renuka Chaudhary and Milind Deora.
Following this letter, Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi met with some of these leaders and the party said that it had already decided to hold elections for the post of party president and that the process was underway. However, nearly a month later, Sibal has now said that he has no clarity yet on when that will happen.
In an interview to The Indian Express, Sibal said Sonia Gandhi in her meeting with leaders had said that there would be an election. “Now, we are not clear what these elections are going to be…in the sense…we believe that elections will be conducted consistent with the provisions of the Constitution.”
“For example, the election of the President will be conducted along with the election of the Working Committee, and the election of the Central Election Committee. That’s part of the Constitution. We have no clarity on that. Thereafter, we also want the institutions of the Parliamentary Board to revive. And since the meeting on December 19, we’re almost one month down the road….we have had no response on how and when this will happen,” he told IE.
Suggesting all was not well in the state units, Sibal said that those who feel that Congress was already a political force and the process of revival had started need to look at what was happening in various states. He said that there was a level of disenchantment in state units of Congress.
Sibal further said that several leaders had come to him and expressed grave concern about processes in Delhi. “We are all die-hard Congressmen…so that the Congress can be the force that it was, and shall be in times to come. But we haven’t yet got the kind of response that we were hoping,” he said.
When asked about talks of return of Rahul Gandhi as Congress chief, Sibal said that he was not supposed to respond to buzzes. “So when these things happen, when cards are laid on the table, we will get to know the reality,” he said.