Monday, August 8, 2022

Azad, other G-23 leaders likely to meet Sonia, Rahul Gandhi soon

Just days after a meeting of Congress Working Committee (CWC) and two meetings of the rebel G-23 group, senior dissident Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad and some other members of the G-23 group are likely to meet interim party president Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi soon.

The time of the meeting is still not finalized. “After talking to Sonia Gandhi, we will fix the timing of the meeting (with Azad and other G-23 leaders) and inform about the same,” said Rahul Gandhi, according to sources cited by ANI.
Earlier, only Azad was scheduled to meet Sonia Gandhi.

G-23 leaders, who have been calling for sweeping reforms in the grand old party, met on Wednesday to discuss the party’s debacle in the recently concluded Assembly elections in five states – Punjab, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Manipur and Goa. Party leaders Kapil Sibal, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Anand Sharma, Manish Tewari, Shashi Tharoor, Mani Shankar Aiyar, PJ Kurien, Preneet Kaur, Sandeep Dikshit and Raj Babbar were among those present.

Former Haryana Chief Minister and veteran Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda met Rahul Gandhi on Thursday. Hooda, a G 23 member, was the first to reach out to the Congress High Command after the faction’s meeting at Azad’s residence in New Delhi over the party’s humiliating defeat in the recently concluded assembly elections.

According to ANI’s sources, Rahul Gandhi asked Hooda about the meeting of the G-23 leaders and their resolution. Hooda suggested elections of the Congress Working Committee and taking future decisions through discussions only in CWC as this was also mentioned by the G-23 group.

The former Haryana chief minister, in the meeting with Rahul Gandhi, also presented the demand of the appointment of an experienced leader, who understands the politics of North India and is well versed with Hindi, after removing party General Secretary KC Venugopal from his post, as per sources cited by ANI.

Hooda also sought clarity over who is taking the calls in the party and said that leaders get to know about big decisions of the party from the media, highlighting the need to make decisions collectively. Hooda said that the G-23 leaders have not done any “anti-party activities” adding that the meeting of faction was held after informing Sonia Gandhi.

“We do not agree with everything (Shankersinh) Vaghela and (Kapil) Sibal have said,” Hooda said over the comments by dissenting leaders questioning Rahul Gandhi’s leadership. After Congress’ defeat in five assembly polls, Sibal in an interview had called for a leadership change in the party.

In a statement released after the CWC meeting on Wednesday, the top body of the party had unanimously supported interim party president President Sonia Gandhi and requested her “to lead from the front, address the organisational weaknesses, effect necessary and comprehensive organisational changes in order to take on the political challenges”.

Ahead of the Wednesday CWC meeting, the G-23 had suggested the name of senior leader Mukul Wasnik for the post of party president.

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