New Delhi, Sept. 2: Sonia Gandhi constituted co-ordination committees for Bengal, Bihar and Assam and an election committee for Delhi before leaving for the US for a medical check-up this afternoon. The Congress has not clarified when she will return.
The Congress chief was accompanied by her daughter, Priyanka. Rahul Gandhi will look after the party in her absence.
Sonia has been going to the US for check-ups since she underwent surgery for an undeclared ailment in 2011. She went twice last year. There were rumours that she might have gone for a longer period this time but party sources did not confirm her schedule.
The co-ordination committees in states reflect the Congress’s growing concern over the disconnect between the organisation and the legislature party despite repeated appeals by Sonia for teamwork.
Party leaders from almost all states regularly lodge complaints with the high command that legislators and ministers do not interact with them and care little for political or organisational interests.
Such committees have, however, not been able to make significant changes in states, particularly where the chief minister and the state party president have strained relations. Complaints have been regularly lodged against MPs and central ministers. In most cases, the crisis gets worse as state unit chiefs do not have the stature to ensure that everybody works in harmony.
The committee for Bengal will comprise the general secretary in-charge, PCC president, CLP leader and the AICC secretary in-charge in addition to Maya Ghose and Asit Mitra.
The committee for Bihar also will have the general secretary in-charge, PCC president and the AICC secretary in-charge in addition to Madan Mohan Jha, Akhilesh Singh and Md Javed. The Assam committee will have the same structure, with Bishnu Prasad and Nazrul Islam as members.