Thursday, December 7, 2023

CWC meet begins poll strategy caste census on agenda

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The Congress Working Committee’s (CWC) crucial meeting began here on Monday and will see the party’s top brass hold discussions on its strategy for the upcoming assembly elections and a nationwide caste census.

The meeting comes on a day when the Election Commission will announce the dates for the assembly elections in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Mizoram.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, former party chiefs Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, chief ministers of all the Congress-ruled states and other top leaders began deliberations on election preparedness and narratives across the poll-bound states.

The party would also hold extensive discussions on its firm pitch for a nationwide caste census and its implications.

There are concerns within the Congress with respect to the articulation of its demand for the caste census, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently accusing the opposition party of attempting to divide Hindus through its push for the Other Backward Classes (OBC).

The Congress is seeking to retain its governments in Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan and hoping to wrest power from BJP in Madhya Pradesh, Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) in Telangana and Mizo National Front (MNF) in Mizoram.

The CWC meet comes at a time when some opposition leaders are facing heat from central probe agencies and the latest in a series of arrests is of AAP’s Sanjay Singh in the Delhi excise policy case.

The Congress has condemned Singh’s arrest but also pointed to similar action against its leaders in Punjab by the AAP government there, the latest being the arrest of its farmers’ wing head Sukhpal Khaira in a drugs-related case.

The chief ministers of Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka and Himachal Pradesh, besides the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leaders in the five poll-bound states, will attend the CWC meet.

The first meeting of the reconstituted CWC was held in Hyderabad on September 16 to evolve a strategy for the assembly polls in the five states and the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

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