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Congress’ Sonia Gandhi meets rebels, other leaders to help sort out party issues

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Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on Saturday meeting met several party leaders to elect the next president. Gandhi will carry out several such meetings over the next 10 days to discuss the selection of a new organisation president.

The meetings come after several Congress members in a letter sought sweeping organisational changes within the party. Since its loss in several recent elections, the Congress has seen months of infighting.

The Congress members including the rebels are set to discuss their concerns as well. Spokesperson Randeep Surjewala on Friday said “99.9% ” leaders in Congress want Rahul Gandhi to lead the party again.

Media reports said Rahul Gandhi will also attend the meet at 10 Janpath. AK Antony, Ashok Gehlot, and Ambika Soni are among the loyalists attending the meeting while those who were dubbed the G-23, the group of dissenters, to attend include Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma, Vivek Tankha, Shashi Tharoor, Manish Tiwari, and Bhupinder Singh Hooda among others.

Congress veteran P Chidambaram will also be present for the meeting.

“We are one family and we will sort it out,” Surjewala had said on Friday. He said an electoral college of Congress, AICC (All India Congress Committee) members, Congress workers, and members will choose who’s best suited (to be the party chief).

Kamal Nath helped convince Sonia Gandhi to meet with rebels

Media reports said former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath played peacemaker between Sonia Gandhi and the rebels urging the former to hear out the latter.

Kamal Nath also agrees with the rebels’ cause, sources said.

On August, 23 senior Congress leaders had in a letter expressed concern over the party’s downslide since losing power in 2014 and called for active and visible leadership.

Congress veteran Ghulam Nabi Azad and other dissidents were snubbed earlier when they sought an appointment with Sonia Gandhi and had faced the heat from other Congress leaders during the online meet.

Congress’ poor performance

Rahul Gandhi stepped down as the party chief in 2019 after the party’s poor performance in the Lok Sabha elections.

Later Congress lost poorly in Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh. Internal fighting also threatened the Congress government in Rajasthan. It also performed poorly in the Bihar election.

 

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