Twelve new CWC members will also be elected in this plenary session while 11 others in the 24-member committee are nominated by the Congress President. The Congress constitution mandates that 12 of the 25 members be elected at the AICC session but the provision has not been invoked for last 21 years. "The Congress will put across a way forward on the problems the party faces", Rahul said at the meeting.
While all outgoing CWC members are part of the new committee, some permanent invitees such as Amarinder Singh, Vilas Muttemwar, R K Dhawan, Shivajirao Deshmukh, M V Rajasekharan and Mohsina Kidwai, and all special invitees have been dropped from the new panel.
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Rahul formally took over as the new Congress president assuming the mantle of the country's oldest political party on 16 December, 2017. "The Steering Committee will function in place of the Working Committee of the party", said party General Secretary Janardan Dwivedi in a statement.
The challenges before Rahul are to ensure his party's victory in BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan later this year, build up a formidable alliance to take on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and strengthen the organisation in states. Those attending the meeting chaired by Rahul included Sonia Gandhi and Dr Manmohan Singh.
The Steering Committee also comprises senior party leaders like A K Antony, Ahmed Patel, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ambika Soni, Janardan Dwivedi, Ashok Gehlot, Sushilkumar Shinde, P Chidambaram, Oscar Fernandes, Anand Sharma, CP Joshi, Digvijay Singh, BK Hari Prasad, Kamal Nath, Mallikarjun Kharge, Motilal Vora and Hemo Prova Saikia, besides party's communications incharge Randeep Surjewala.