Space for old and young in Rahul’s new CWC

Six months after taking over as the Congress president, Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday reconstituted the party’s highest decision-making body, the 23-member Congress Working Committee (CWC).

In an exercise that seemed like a balancing act between picking experienced hands and younger faces, high-profile leaders like Digvijaya Singh, Janardan Dwivedi, Kamal Nath, Sushil Kumar Shinde, C.P. Joshi and Karan Singh have been dropped.

However, several senior leaders including Moti Lal Vohra, A.K. Antony, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ahmed Patel, Ambika Soni, Mallikarjun Kharge, Kumari Selja and Mukul Wasnik have retained their positions.

There are 18 permanent invitees and 10 special invitees, taking the number of CWC participants to 51. The first meeting of an extended CWC, including State unit presidents and Congress legislature party leaders, has been scheduled for Sunday.

UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will be among the most senior members. Several former Chief Ministers including Tarun Gogoi, Oommen Chandy, Siddaramaiah, Ashok Gehlot and Harish Rawat have made an entry as members.

While the former Commerce Minister Anand Sharma has been made a member, former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram and former Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit are among the permanent invitees that also include younger faces like Jyotiraditya Scindia, Gaurav Gogoi, Rajeev Satav and R.P.N. Singh. Congress communication chief Randeep Surjewala has got a leg-up as he has been made a permanent invitee. Prominent names excluded are Oscar Fernandes, Mohsina Kidwai, Mohan Prakash, B.K. Hariprasad, Punjab CM Amarinder Singh, a permanent invitee earlier, and former Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda. Mr. Hooda’s son, Deepender Hooda, however, has been made a special invitee.

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