ANI Photo | Congress amends its Constitution, to reserve 50 per cent of all party positions for women, youth

Marking a landmark organizational change, Congress Party on Saturday decided 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.
The party amended its Constitution and made the social change at its 85th plenary session, here in Raipur.
The party said that the decision is the beginning of a new chapter of social justice.
“Constitution has been amended to provide Reservation of 50 per cent for SC/ST/OBCs/Minorities and horizontal reservation of 50 per cent for youth and women in the reserved and unreserved categories for all office bearers and delegates. The concept of “50 Under 50″ as enunciated in the Udaipur Shivir has been incorporated into the Constitution,” the Congress party said in a statement.
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 made a total of 85 amendments to its Constitution.
As per the amended Constitution, Congress will only have only Digital Memberships starting from January 1, 2025.
During the 85th Plenary session, the party also released its political resolution, in which it promised to bring a law against hate crimes, guarantee citizens right to free healthcare, restore statehood of Jammu and Kashmir, etc.
The resolution also said that the assembly elections this year in nine states and 2024 Lok Sabha polls were “crucial for India’s future” and there is an urgent need for united opposition to take on the BJP-led NDA government on ideological grounds.
It said the party will restore special category status to the North Eastern States, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
The draft resolution came down heavily on the BJP-led government, accusing it of political vendetta and abusing central agencies like ED, NIA, CBI and IT “to intimidate and subjugate political opponents”.
It said the Congress would go all out to “identify, mobilise and align like-minded secular forces.”
The resolution said emergence of any third force will provide advantage to the BJP.
The resolution said Congress will prepare a vision document for 2024, following a largest-ever mass contact programme, which will encompass issues of unemployment, eradication of poverty, inflation, women empowerment, job creation, national security.
In an apparent reference to Home Minister Amit Shah’s remarks that BJP has no competition in 2024 polls, the Congress said it welcomes the challenge.
“It is quite shocking that BJP leaders have reached the pinnacle of arrogance by saying that the BJP has no competitors in 2024. This is a big challenge, not just to Congress and other parties, but to the democratic ethos of India. Congress welcomes this challenge!
“The 2023 Assembly elections to nine states and the 2024 Lok Sabha elections are crucial for India’s future. The choice before our people is crystal clear. The Congress must redefine political discourse by recapturing the centre space in the present polarised polity,” the resolution said.
The resolution expressed Congress’s resolve “to liberate the nation from its present agony and darkness, heal the wounds created by these divisive forces, and reinstate stability and peace again.”
It said the 4000 km long Bharat Jodo Yatra from Kanyakumari to Kashmir was a first significant step in this direction.
The party said the BJP government “has distorted all three arms of government and the fourth estate of the media to protect their interests over the people’s interests”.
“Every institution has been subverted, undermined and threatened. Democracy is on the verge of being expunged from India. Free discussions and debates in Parliament and Legislative Assemblies have been curtailed. Expunging the truth and suppressing the voices of the Opposition is becoming the order of the day. This is a blatant subversion of Article 105 of the Constitution, which guarantees freedom of speech as a right for Members of Parliament,” the party said.
The draft resolution said the judiciary is constantly threatened by direct and indirect measures which create apprehensions in their mind.

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