Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge has undertaken a significant reconstitution of the Congress Working Committee (CWC), the party’s highest decision-making body, nearly ten months after assuming the presidency. This restructured committee, comprising a remarkable 84 members, however, falls short of meeting the ’50-under-50′ standard set forth during the Congress’s Udaipur Chintan Shivir last year and reiterated in this year’s party plenary session in Raipur.
During both of these gatherings, the Congress committed to having 50 percent of the permanent CWC members below the age of 50. While there are younger members, only three leaders—Sachin Pilot, Gaurav Gogoi, and Kamleshwar Patel—below the age of 50, have been inducted as permanent members into the CWC.
The party unveiled the list of appointees on the social media platform X (formerly Twitter).
The reshaped CWC unmistakably reflects the influence of the Gandhi family, with a majority of their longstanding loyalists retaining their positions in the upper echelon of the party’s decision-making body. This occurs even as efforts are made to appease dissenting figures such as Shashi Tharoor, Sachin Pilot, and Manish Tiwari, who holds a permanent invitee status.
Tharoor had contested Kharge in the party’s presidential election, albeit unsuccessfully. The Thiruvananthapuram MP, formerly a member of the G-23 group of rebel leaders, faces opposition and lack of cooperation from certain factional leaders in Kerala.
From the G-23 group, which had advocated for internal elections to rejuvenate the Congress in 2020, Kharge has designated Tharoor, Tewari, Mukul Wasnik, and Anand Sharma as permanent members of the apex body.
Former student leader Kanhaiya Kumar has also secured a place in the party’s upper echelons, assuming the role of in-charge for the Congress’ student wing, the National Students’ Union of India. Additionally, former Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, who had remained out of communication for several months after losing in two assembly constituencies during the previous elections, has been granted a permanent membership in the CWC.
Pilot’s inclusion in the CWC is interpreted as a measure to pacify the young leader before the upcoming elections in Rajasthan later this year. The inclusion of figures such as Tamradhwaj Sahu, a prominent factional leader in Chhattisgarh, also indicates the party’s attentiveness to the imminent state elections.
Besides the permanent members, the reconstituted CWC features 18 permanent invitees, 14 state and four organizational in-charges, as well as nine special invitees.