New Delhi: A meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC), the top decision-making body of the party begins in the national capital today.
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi presided over the CWC meet as party chief Sonia Gandhi was indisposed, according to PTI report.
The meeting, which is being attended by top brass, is expected to take a call on the organisational elections, the deadline for which ends on December 31.
According to the agenda circulated to CWC members, the meeting will discuss the political situation in the country and organisational matters. It is also expected to discuss the strategy for the winter session of Parliament that begins on November 16.
As per the report, the tenure of Congress president Sonia Gandhi is likely to be extended by another year. Sonia, holds the record of being the Congress chief for 18 consecutive years after taking over from Sitaram Kesri in 1998.
Furthermore, the elevation of Rahul Gandhi is likely to be delayed as the Congress top brass is expected to further defer the process of organisational polls, which had been postponed earlier by a year till this December-end.
Party sources say the organisational elections are to be deferred by more than a year as there is very little time to hold the polls and the party has to focus on the upcoming assembly elections due early next year.
Many in the party are, however, divided on the timing of Rahuls elevation and want it to be deferred till the upcoming assembly polls. Some party leaders, however, also feel that in view of the current situation Sonia Gandhi should continue to steer the party and not take a back seat.
The meeting is significant as the Winter Session of Parliament is starting from November 16 and the Congress will finalise its strategy for the session at this meeting.
The Congress is seeking to corner the government on several issues including on the issue of freedom of speech and expression in the wake of the NDTV day-long ban.
The organisational elections in Congress are overdue and the party had sought time from the Election Commission to complete the process by December 31. The party had informed the poll panel about it as required under the rules.
Besides the organisational polls and the strategy to be adopted for Parliament session, the meeting would also take stock of the current political situation and discuss its plans for assembly elections to some states including Uttar Pradesh and Punjab due next year, party sources said.
Among several political issues that the government seeks to raise during the Session in order to corner the BJP include making political gains out of the surgical strikes, killing of eight Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) activists in an "encounter" in Madhya Pradesh and contentious issues like the triple talaq and uniform civil code being raked up.
The CWC meeting comes at a time when many feel Congress President Sonia Gandhi should hand over the mantle to her son as she is suffering from ill health, especially after her roadshow in PM Narendra Modi's constituency of Varanasi on August 2 when she was hospitalised.