Congress may constitute an advisory board of senior leaders

| Wednesday, June 8, 2016 - 08:36
First Published |

The party has over the last year seen some of its satraps leave and join the Bharatiya Janata Party

New Delhi: Keen on an organisational revamp, the Congress may constitute an advisory board of senior leaders, led by party president Sonia Gandhi, to deliberate upon key policy issues and important party matters, Congress sources here said on Tuesday.
The board, which could be constituted after the Rajya Sabha biennial elections on June 11, is likely to include senior leaders who held key portfolios during the United Progressive Alliance government, including P. Chidambaram, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Sushil Kumar Shinde. 
There has been renewed talk of organisational revamp in the party after the party's poor performance in assembly elections in four major states last month. 
The Congress problems have been mounting ever since. While party leader and former Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Ajit Jogi announced formation of his own party on Monday, six party legislators in Tripura on Tuesday joined the Trinamool Congress.
In another blow, Congress general secretary Gurudas Kamat on Monday announced he was quitting the party and the political arena. 
The party has over the last year seen some of its satraps leave and join the Bharatiya Janata Party. 
Former Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma joined the BJP last year whereas former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna joined the BJP last month. 
The Congress is also facing uncertainty over the elevation of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi as the party chief. 
There have been recurrent speculations and renewed demands that Rahul Gandhi take up the mantle from his mother Sonia Gandhi who has steered the party for 18 years. 
The sources said if an advisory board is indeed formed, it will signal the party's moving towards Rahul Gandhi's elevation. 
They said it will also reflect a collective and consultative leadership within the Grand Old Party. 
Sonia Gandhi had headed the national advisory councils during the previous two UPA governments and is also likely to head the advisory board. 
The BJP has its won 'margdarshak mandal', comprising veteran party leaders but which has not met officially so far. Its parliamentary board however meets to take decisions on important matters. 
The Congress sources said its advisory board, if formed, will wield more power and influence on the party's functioning and will not be like the BJP's 'margdarshak mandal'.

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