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The Inside ‘Dope’ on Congress: New Members Will Now Abstain From Drugs, Not Drinks

Last Updated: February 24, 2023, 16:55 IST

Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi reach Raipur for the Congress plenary session on Friday. (Twitter)

The word ‘alcoholic drinks’ has been replaced with ‘intoxicants, psychotropic substances’. There is still a grey area as ‘intoxicant’ can also include alcohol. Does incorporating Rahul’s suggestion mean his stamp on the post-Bharat Jodo Yatra Cong?

The Congress plans to say cheers to the changing times.

One of the issues being discussed and will see a change is one of the seven oaths new members have to take.

As per clause V(B) (c), anyone who wants to become a member of the party has to ensure that he “abstains from alcoholic drinks and intoxicants” . But now the ambit has been enlarged. The word ‘alcoholic’ has been replaced with ‘intoxicants and psychotropic substances’. There is a grey area still, as the word ‘alcoholic’ may specifically have been removed, but ‘intoxicant’ can also include alcohol.

But Rahul Gandhi was keen to remove the word ‘alcohol’, as he felt it would not be realistic as many members drink and then questions could be raised over the membership.

This is the Congress war on drugs as this will be one of the must conditions for any new member. This means new members will either have to take a dope test or a clean chit.


There are two reasons for this.

One, Rahul Gandhi, ever since he joined active politics in 2014 and began to attend the meetings of the party, has made the point that the party has to be realistic and keep abreast with the times. He accepted the fact that most members have a drink and to use this as a reason to stop admission of new members would be impractical.

Second, the Congress wants to project itself as a party which feels for the youth and is in sync with the drugs impacting the youth, especially the jobless ones.

Among the other oaths new members are expected to take are secularism, wearing khadi.

The other way to look at it is – Does incorporating Rahul Gandhi’s suggestion mean his stamp will be seen on the post-Bharat Jodo Yatra Congress?

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