One-third of AICC, PCC members be women: Sonia

One-third of AICC, PCC members be women: Sonia New Delhi: Congress President Sonia Gandhi has directed state units to ensure that one-third members of the AICC and Pradesh Congress Committees are women.

Continuing to be proactive on the issue of women empowerment, Gandhi has said there should be 33 per cent reservation for women while deciding the All India Congress Committee members, a central leader said.

There are around 1000 AICC members from all over the country who form the electoral college for the all powerful Congress Working Committee.

The leader, who did not wish to be named, said that the party chief has also asked the Pradesh Congress Committees to ensure that one third of their office bearers are women.

Besides, Gandhi has made it clear to state units that they should not go for jumbo committees and opt for compact panels.

Elections for the CWC are scheduled on November two at the meeting of the AICC here.

Almost a decade back, Gandhi had been instrumental in ensuring one third reservation for women at all levels in the organisation and Congress has been the first major national party to implement it.

Gandhi also played a major role in the passage of the Women's Reservation Bill in the Rajya Sabha, which has been hanging fire for a dozen odd years.

There is, however, no official word so far as to when the Congress-led coalition at the Centre would be bringing the Bill in the Lok Sabha.

Gandhi's directive on one third quota for women in AICC has resulted in several existing AICC members not getting re-elected. Also the state units are making extra efforts for finding the right candidates.

Gandhi, who has been re-elected as the party chief for the fourth term, has created a record of having the longest tenure. She took over as the head of the organisation in April 1998.

Sonia announces 18 PCC chiefs; Amarinder, Joshi make it

Former chief minister Amarinder Singh and G Parmeshwar will head the Congress state units in Punjab and Karnataka respectively with party president Sonia Gandhi today naming 18 PCC chiefs.

Rita Bahuguna Joshi in Uttar Pradesh, Manas Ranjan Bhunia of West Bengal, JP Agrawal of Delhi and Bhubaneshwar Kalita of Assam are among PCC chiefs who have been retained.

Sonia Gandhi was earlier authorised by the state units to name their new chiefs.