The Congress Working Committee (CWC) is the executive committee of the Indian National Congress. It was formed in December 1920 at Nagpur session of INC which was headed by C. Vijayaraghavachariar. It typically consists of fifteen members elected from the All India Congress Committee. It is headed by the Working President.

Mahatma Gandhi attends a Congress Working Committee meeting at Anand Bhavan, Allahabad; Vallabhbhai Patel to the left, Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit to the right, January 1940.
Mahatma Gandhi attends a Congress Working Committee meeting at Anand Bhavan, Allahabad; Vallabhbhai Patel to the left, Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit to the right, January 1940.

The Working Committee has had different levels of power in the party at different times. In the period prior to Indian independence in 1947, the Working Committee was the centre of power, and the Working President was frequently more active than the Congress President. In the period after 1967, when the Congress Party split for the first time (between factions loyal to Indira Gandhi and those led by the Syndicate of regional leaders including Kamaraj, Prafulla Chandra Sen, Ajoy Mukherjee, and Morarji Desai), the power of the Working Committee declined; but Indira Gandhi's triumph in 1971 led to a re-centralisation of power away from the states and the All-India Congress Committee and caused the Working Committee in Delhi to once again be the paramount decision-making body of the party.[1] The centralised nature of Congress decision making has since caused observers in the states to informally describe instructions from Delhi as coming from the "High Command".

Composition of Steering Committee

President

Name Portrait Position in government
Mallikarjun Kharge
Mallikarjun Kharge Official Portrail (cropped).jpg
Former Leader of the Opposition, Rajya Sabha

Members[5]

Member Portrait Position in government
Sonia Gandhi
Sonia Gandhi 2014 (cropped).jpg
Member of Parliament
Manmohan Singh
Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh in March 2014.jpg
Rahul Gandhi
Rahul Gandhi (portrait crop).jpg
Member of Parliament
A. K. Antony
A. K. Antony.jpg
Member of Parliament
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (6).jpg
General Secretary
Mallikarjun Kharge
Mallikarjun Kharge Official Portrail (cropped).jpg
Former Leader of the Opposition, Rajya Sabha
P. Chidambaram
P. Chidambaram.jpg
Member of Parliament
Ambika Soni
Ambika Soni.jpg
Member of Parliament
Meira Kumar
Meira Kumar.jpg
Former Speaker of Lok Sabha
Oommen Chandy

Oommen Chandy Kerala.jpg

Former Chief Minister of Kerala
Harish Rawat
HarishRawat.jpg
* Former Chief Minister of Uttarakhand
Dr Lal Thanhawla
Lal Thanhawla.jpg
Former Chief Minister of Mizoram
Anand Sharma
Anand Sharma - World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2012.jpg
Member of Parliament
Mukul Wasnik
Mukul Wasnik in January 2010.jpg
Ex Union Minister
K.C Venugopal
K.C. Venugopal addressing at the Concurrent session – Young Achievers, at the 12th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas ‘Engaging Diaspora Connecting Across Generation’, in New Delhi on January 07, 2014 (cropped).jpg
Member of Parliament
Ajay Maken
Ajay Maken at NDTV Sports event.jpg
Former Member of Parliament
Jitendra Singh
The Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Youth Affairs & Sports, Shri Jitendra Singh addressing the media persons after his visit from Lausanne, Switzerland, in New Delhi on May 16, 2013.jpg
Former Member of Parliament
Tariq Anwar
Tariq Anwar addressing the Global Consultation on Use and Management of Agro biodiversity for Sustainable Food Security, in New Delhi on February 12, 2013.jpg
Former Member of Parliament
Gaikhangam Gangmei Former Deputy Chief Minister, Manipur
Raghuveer Meena Former Member of Parliament

Permanent Invitees

[6]

Member party Position
Digvijaya Singh MP
Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury MP
Jairam Ramesh MP
Salman Khurshid Ex MP
Avinash Pandey Ex MP
K. H. Muniyappa Ex MP
Pramod Tiwari MP
Tariq Hameed Karra Ex MP
Pawan Kumar Bansal Ex MP
Rajni Patil MP
P. L. Punia Ex MP
Shaktisinh Gohil MP
Rajeev Shukla MP
Dinesh Gundu Rao MLA
Manicka Tagore MP
A. Chellakumar MP
Ajoy Kumar Ex MP
H. K. Patil MLA
Devender Yadav Ex MLA
Vivek Bansal
Manish Chatrath
Bhakta Charan Das Ex Union Minister
Kuljit Singh Nagra

Special Invitees

[7]

Member party Position
G. Sanjeeva Reddy President, INTUC
Neeraj Kundan President, NSUI
BV Srinivas President, IYC
Lalji Desai Chief Organiser ,Seva Dal
Depender Hooda MP
Chinta Mohan Ex-MP
Sachin Rao Training Incharge

Criticism

The Congress has not held internal elections to CWC for nearly 20 years and last elections were held in 1998.[8] In 2017 Election Commission ordered it to hold internal elections[9] but as of 2020 no elections were held.[10] When Congress was trying to forge an alliance with ideologically opposite Shiv Sena in Maharashtra in 2019, Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam publicly urged Sonia Gandhi to dissolve the CWC, saying "they cannot be trusted anymore."[11] [12] A paper by Observer Research Foundation calls a large number of CWC members "unprincipled, opportunists and self-serving individuals for whom self-interest is paramount."[13]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Towards a More Competitive Party System in India", Ram Joshi and Kirtidev Desai, Asian Survey, Vol. 18, No. 11. (Nov., 1978), pp. 1091-1116.
  2. ^ https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/kharge-calls-for-top-to-bottom-accountability-at-congress-steering-committee-meeting-101670176756176.html
  3. ^ https://news.abplive.com/news/india/congress-to-hold-first-meeting-of-steering-committee-on-sunday-1567262
  4. ^ https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kharge-makes-strong-pitch-for-fixing-accountability-in-cong-organisation-at-key-meet/article66222141.ece
  5. ^ "Indian National Congress - Congress Working Committee".
  6. ^ "Indian National Congress - Congress Working Committee". Archived from the original on 20 July 2019.
  7. ^ "Indian National Congress - Congress Working Committee". Archived from the original on 17 July 2019.
  8. ^ "Nobody But Rahul, Says Congress Leader Whose Father Ran vs Sonia Gandhi". Archived from the original on 12 August 2019. Retrieved 23 August 2020.
  9. ^ "Election Commission Tells Congress to Hold Internal Elections by June 30". Retrieved 23 August 2020.
  10. ^ Pankaj Vohra (8 August 2020). "EC can freeze Congress symbol or initiate action if party remains leaderless". Retrieved 23 August 2020.
  11. ^ "Congress "Defamed", Rahul Gandhi Should Return to Lead: Sanjay Nirupam After Maharashtra Twist". Archived from the original on 6 February 2020.
  12. ^ "Old Grudge, Unfulfilled Demand: Why Rahul Gandhi Remained Absent from Cong's Meet on Delhi Riots". 26 February 2020. Archived from the original on 26 February 2020.
  13. ^ "Congress moving towards extinction?". Archived from the original on 14 March 2020.