Alarming under-representation of women and minority groups in Congress Working Committee

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Indian National Congress has always tried to present itself as a pro-women and pro-minority party. It has time and again denounced its opposition for being anti-minority and praised itself for being the sole champion for women and minority rights. The tall claims of Congress were laid to rest by themselves on the 17th of July with the announcement of the Congress Working Committee (CWC). The 51 member team of the CWC, which included permanent and special invitees, was declared by General Secretary in charge of the organization, Ashok Gehlot. The 51 member CWC team not so surprisingly has just 7 women, too less for a party which claims of bringing the women’s reservation and Nirbhaya law. The underrepresentation for the 50% population of India is just a start as there is a dearth of representation for the Muslims and Christian populations of India as well. Just 3 Muslims managed to find a place in the CWC which was reshuffled at the behest of the ‘prodigal’ Congress President Rahul Gandhi. The same could be said for representatives from the Sikh population as well.

Apart from Rahul Gandhi and UPA chief Sonia Gandhi, the list has names of the Nehru-Gandhi family’s loyalists such as former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and Ahmed Patel. It seems that the small group of leaders from minority communities who have managed to make it to the CWC too have been selected for their loyalty rather than their ability. This explains why despite some old faces being removed and the induction of new ones in the CWC, there still is a lack of proportionate representation of the Indian population in it. Big names, mostly male and of leaders who might have had reasons to be angry with the party like Siddaramaiah have made it to the list.

The situation might even be worse if one decided to delve into the nitty-gritty of which caste and tribe got how much representation in the CWC. For a party which claims to be the champion of the backward classes of the society and wants to be seen and worshipped as their sole savior, it is indeed saddening how very few names have made it to the CWC itself. The details of the caste based representation and justification for the same might be underway from ‘journalists’ like Shekhar Gupta and Rajdeep Sardesai, on Twitter in the near future. For the time being, one has to remain content with the fact that very few minorities across all sections of the society have been given ample representation in the CWC. Loyalty to the Nehru-Gandhi family and deference to their orders and directives seems to be enough to earn a seat in the CWC and a ticket in the upcoming elections.

The claim of Congress of being pro-women and pro-minority is shaken to the core by the announcement of the CWC membership. It also sheds light on the fact that all the hoopla it had created was nothing but a sham and it had always been so. With this kind of approach, it is unlikely that the Congress is going to have an impact in the upcoming Lok Sabha 2019 elections.


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Abhishek Bhardwaj

Full time reader, writer and foodie. Has opinions on everything under the sun and not afraid to express them.
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