The Congress on Saturday claimed to be leading a new socio-political revolution by reserving 50 per cent of organisational posts from block to the national level for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes and minorities.
The convener of the Group on Constitution amendments, Randeep Surjewala, said at the plenary on Saturday: “These unrepresented groups will get 50 per cent reservation at all levels, in every committee. This is a revolution and a social justice milestone. No political party has ever taken such steps. Apart from this, there will also be a quota of 50 per cent for those below 50 years of age and women.”
The party has faced the allegation of being in the grip of upper castes. That image will now undergo a dramatic change with Dalits and OBCs getting adequate representation. All three Congress chief ministers at present are OBCs.
The number of Congress Working Committee (CWC) members will also be increased from 23 to 35. While the party president used to be the 24th member earlier, now former Congress presidents, former and incumbent Congress Prime Ministers, leaders of both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha and the chairperson of the parliamentary party will automatically be included in the CWC.
The caste and age reservations are bound to give a dramatically new look to the CWC with many younger leaders who never dreamt of reaching the top so early in their careers getting accommodated.
The party organisation is also being expanded. Along with booth committees and block committees, there will be two more layers of panchayat committee and intermediary committee below the district and state committees. The political affairs committee proposed at the Udaipur conclave has also been given constitutional validity.
Contrary to the speculation in a section of the media that the party was contemplating removing the clause that stipulated that its membership will wear khadi and abstain from drinking liquor, the ambit of this clause has been broadened by banning all psychotropic substances, prohibited drugs and intoxicants.