Karan Singh calls for comprehensive restructuring of Congress party

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Veteran Congress leader Dr. Karan Singh on Wednesday questioned the working committee for not coming up with a new leadership structure seven weeks after the resignation of Rahul Gandhi as the party president.

“…I see no reason as to why even after seven weeks having elapsed (at the time of writing) since Rahul announced his intention to retire at the Working Committee meeting on 25th May 2019, there has been no forward movement,” Singh asked in a statement, issued today.

He said there was no reason for the Working Committee to have taken so long to come up with a new leadership structure. “I have suggested that in addition to an Interim President until the AICC elects a regular one, we should have four Zonal Vice-Presidents.  This would enable a broader spectrum of leaders from around the country, including younger people, to take over the party reins,” he said.

Singh said that there was a need for a comprehensive restructuring of party office bearers, including General Secretaries and PCC Presidents. “This will be the opportunity to phase out those who may have rendered valuable services to the party in the past but are unable now to do so in the face of the present challenges,” he said, in the statement.

Singh said that resurrection and regeneration on the Indian National Congress is important not only for the grand old party itself but in the broader national interest.

“The Congress alone can provide a national level opposition to the BJP juggernaut without which we will be left only with a few regional parties, thus moving into virtually a one party dominated situation. In a Parliamentary democracy a strong and effective opposition is essential both at the national and State levels, and this makes the confusion within the Congress all the more unfortunate,” he rued.

On the resignation of Rahul Gandhi, Singh said that he appreciated the Congress-persons around the country who, he said, were genuinely anxious that he should withdraw his resignation. “… but being a man of principle it was unrealistic to expect him (Rahul) to do so and several weeks were wasted in efforts to pressurize him,” he said.

“He is a fine young man who has many years of political activity ahead of him, and his bold decision to take responsibility for the Congress defeat by resigning from his post is in keeping with the best parliamentary traditions around the world. We should honour his decision and move one, as a vacuum at this stage when several state elections are round the corner, is a sure recipe for disaster,”  said Singh.

He sadid it was the duty of the Working Committee to do what is required of them under the party constitution. “Already there is a widespread sense of disappointment and disorientation among party workers around the country. Let us not forget that the Congress did receive as many as 12 crore votes in the recent Lok Sabha elections, and that there are thousands of Congress workers around the country who cannot be left leaderless,” he said.

“Any further delay will surely accelerate the negative spiral in which this great party finds itself. This must not be; we have to snap out of the present impasse and collectively move towards reviving the inner spirit and outer structure of the party based on its liberal, progressive and inclusive philosophy,” he added.