Congress sets up policy groups for plenary, to cut delegate strength

Congress general secretary (organisation) KC Venugopal has asked all state party presidents and in-charges to shorten the delegate list.

New Delhi | Updated: 13 February, 2023 5:10 pm IST
Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge (file photo)

Congress is working to reduce the number of delegates by 450 for its 85th plenary session to be held in Raipur, Chhattisgarh later this month.

The number of delegates, who will represent all states and Union territories, will be downsized to 1,250 from the current 1,700, according to sources.

Congress general secretary (organisation) KC Venugopal has asked all state party presidents and in-charges to shorten the delegate list, sources said.

Some state units have already finalised their list based on his instructions. For example, Congress’ Bihar unit has shortened the strength of 118 delegates to 78.

As per sources, the strength of AICC delegates was raised to 1700 by former Congress president Sonia Gandhi. However, many senior leaders from many states are set to miss this year’s plenary, they added.

Congress has formed several committees for the plenary session. Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh has been appointed the chairman of the drafting committee. Its members include P Chidambaram, former Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Veerappa Moily, Ashok Chavan, Shashi Tharoor, Prithviraj Chavan and Mukul Wasnik.

“The Congress president has constituted the drafting committee and various sub-groups for the 85th Plenary Session…with immediate effect,” Venugopal said in a statement.

The sub-group on political affairs has M Veerappa Moily as its chairman and Ashok Chavan as convenor. It includes Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Kumari Selja and former Punjab CM Charanjit Singh Channi.

The sub-group on economic affairs is chaired by P Chidambaram and Gaurav Vallabh is its convenor, with former Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah, former Rajasthan deputy CM Sachin Pilot and former Union minister Milind Deora being its members.

The sub-group on international affairs has Salman Khurshid as chairman and Shashi Tharoor as convenor. Anand Sharma, Manish Tiwari and Sam Pitroda are among its members.

Former Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda has been made the chairman of the sub-group on farmers and agriculture. The sub-group on social justice and empowerment is headed by Mukul Wasnik.

The sub-group on youth, education and employment is chaired by Amarinder Singh Raja Brar, with party MP Jothimani as its convenor. Indian Youth Congress (IYC) president BV Srinivas and National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) president Neeraj Kundan are among its members.

On Friday, Congress announced the constitution of a 122-member subjects committee for the three-day plenary session. Headed by party president Mallikarjun Kharge, it includes all 30 members of the party’s steering committee, 20 AICC members, 35 PCC presidents and 23 CLP leaders among others.

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