NEW DELHI: The Congress seems to be taking the fight to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s strongholds as the 2019 Lok Sabha elections near. The next meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC), the party’s apex decision-making body, is set to be held in Gujarat.
The decision by the top Congress leadership to hold the CWC meeting in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state is being seen as a deft strategic move ahead of crucial elections, more so with party chief Rahul Gandhi trying to take on Narendra Modi directly on a series of issues, including the controversy around the Rafale fighter jet deal.
The previous CWC meeting was held in BJP-ruled Maharashtra’s Wardha district. The meeting also marked the beginning of Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary celebrations. Senior party leaders said that Gujarat was an obvious choice given that it was also the home state of Gandhi.
“Prior to the general elections, two CWC meetings are likely to take place, out of which one is scheduled for in Gujarat. Our party president has been repeatedly saying that we will play on the front foot. Whether it is Uttar Pradesh, where we are going alone, or Gujarat, where we are going to hold the meet, the party wants to send a message that we are taking on the BJP and PM Modi directly," a senior Congress leader from Gujarat said, requesting anonymity.
Party leaders also said that though the date has not yet been fixed, the meeting is likely to take place sometime this month, either in Porbandar, which has historical significance in Mahatma Gandhi’s life, or in the capital Gandhinagar. The CWC meeting will also be attended by Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who was recently inducted as general secretary of the party.
According to another Congress leader, the suggestion was floated at a recent meeting of general secretaries and state in-charges with party president Rahul Gandhi. “Party workers from Gujarat had requested to hold the CWC meeting in the state. The suggestion was accepted in principle and the leaders from the state unit were asked to work out the details," he said, also requesting anonymity.