The Congress carried out 85 amendments in its constitution at its 85th plenary session here on Saturday to provide a 50 per cent reservation to scheduled castes (SCs), scheduled tribes (STs), other backward classes (OBCs), women, youth and minorities in its working committee and at all party positions.
According to the amended constitution of the party, the Congress Working Committee (CWC) will now include former prime ministers from the party and former AICC chiefs, besides leaders of the Congress in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
The party decided to provide 50 per cent reservation to SCs/STs/OBCs/minorities vertically and provide horizontal reservation to youth below 50 years and women in both reserved and unreserved categories.
The number of CWC members will go up to 35 from the earlier 23, with 18 members to be elected and 17 to be nominated.
The amended constitution says from now on, the party will only have digital membership and records.
The party also amended its constitution to make stringent provisions for those taking Congress membership and they should abstain from taking intoxicating drugs and psychotripic substances.
Congress general secretary Randeep Surjewala, who is the convener of the committee looking into amendments to the Constitution, said the party has added the words psychotropic substances and intoxicating drugs which includes alcohol, tobacco and other substances.
He said the party has decided to provide recognition to transgenders in its membership forms as well as provide recognition to single parents by including names of mothers and spouses in the form.
The Constitution Amendments Committee was chaired by senior leader Ambika Soni and had detailed deliberations before carrying out 85 major and minor amendments.
The concept of “50 Under 50” as enunciated in the Udaipur Shivir has been incorporated in the Constitution, Surjewala said.
Changing with the times, he said the Congress will only have digital memberships starting January 1, 2025, and will accept online donations. Bringing changes in the organisational structure, the party has added an intermediary level by having Panchayat Congress Committee, Ward Congress Committee for Urban Areas and other Intermediate Congress Congress Committee at Mandal andJanpad levels.
The amended constitution, Surjewala said, will give more representation for panchayati raj, local bodies and cooperatives at every level and elected members of the party at every level will be ex-officio members of the Block Congress Committee, District Congress Committee (DCC) and Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC). For example, members of panchayat samiti, municipality samiti and mandi samiti will be in the Block Congress, he said. Members of zilla panchayat, president of the municipal council, president of the district cooperative bank will be members of the DCC, he said, adding the presidents of the zilla panchayat, president of the municipal corporation, president of state level cooperative banks and marketing societies will be members of the PCC.
The Constitution currently provides that the election of one All India Congress Committee (AICC) member is made by eight PCC delegates and after amending the constitution now every six PCC delegates will elect an AICC member. Hence, the total number of elected members will go up from 1,240 to 1,653, Surjewala said, adding that the strength of co-opted AICC members has also been increased from 15 per cent of the elected and AICC members to 25 per cent of the elected AICC members.
The Constitution has been amended to incorporate the provision of political affairs committee at the PCC Level.
Minor changes in the fee structure of Congress members, DCC delegates, PCC delegates, AICC members have also been made and now membership fee has been hiked from Rs 5 to Rs 10.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Federal staff and is auto-published from a syndicated feed.)