Dissenting leaders of Congress under the banner of ‘G-23’ met at Ghulam Nabi Azad’s residence on Tuesday to deliberate on the thrashing defeat faced by Congress in the recently concluded assembly elections in five states. The rebel leaders issued a statement after the meeting that said the Congress party needs to adopt “collective and inclusive leadership.”
The joint statement by the leaders of G-23 read, “We, the following members of the Congress Party, met to deliberate on the demoralizing outcome of the recent results of the Assembly elections and the constant exodus of both our workers and leaders.” The statement further said, “We believe that the only way forward is for the Congress to adopt the model of collective and inclusive leadership and decision making at all levels.”
“In order to oppose the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), it is necessary to strengthen the Congress Party. We demand the Congress party to initiate dialogue with other likeminded forces to create a platform to pave the way for a credible alternative for 2024 and the next steps in this regard will be announced soon,” said the statement by the rebel leaders.
The meeting of the G-23 leaders took place with Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi in the know, informed the rebel leaders of the party. “She [Sonia Gandhi] was informed of the meeting when Azad and the party chief had a telephonic conversation on Tuesday to have a meeting on Thursday,” the statement by the leaders informed.
The statement said that the meeting was called to inform the rest of the members about the discussion held in the Congress Working Committee (CWC) and to decide on a further strategy.
Earlier on Sunday, G-23 leaders ahead of the Congress CWC meeting suggested senior party leader Mukul Wasnik’s name for the post of party president. The suggestion was rejected by the party.
G23 leaders including Shashi Tharoor, Kapil Sibbal, Mani Shankar Aiyar, Manish Tiwari, and others were seen leaving the residence of Azad after the meeting ended.