A meeting of the Congress’s G-23 leaders, who had written to Sonia Gandhi in 2020 seeking large-scale reforms, was held at former party leader Ghulam Nabi Azad’s residence on Tuesday. According to ABP sources, the G-23 is likely to field a candidate on their behalf for the upcoming Congress President election.
Former Haryana chief minister and Leader of the Opposition Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Anand Sharma and Prithviraj Chavan were among the disgruntled leaders who met Azad. The Congress presidential polls, which will be held on October 17, was discussed in the meeting.
Counting of votes, if necessary, and the declaration of results will be on October 19. The party last held an election for the post in November 2000.
The meeting comes amid an upheaval in the party following the resignation of Azad last week and his stinging letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi in which he lashed out at Rahul Gandhi for “demolishing the party’s entire consultative mechanism”.
Azad, ending his five-decade association with the party, called it “comprehensively destroyed”. In a five-page resignation letter, the seasoned leader blamed Rahul Gandhi of “childish behaviour”, irresponsibility, and allowing a “coterie of inexperienced sycophants” to rule the party.
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Azad’s resignation came days after Anand Sharma, who is among the G-23 dissident leaders, quit the chairmanship of the Congres’s steering committee for Himachal Pradesh, saying he was left with no choice after the “continuing exclusion and insults”.
The meeting at Azad’s residence comes amid reports that Shashi Tharoor was exploring the possibility of running for the post of Congress president though he is yet to take a final call on it.
Even though there has been a clamour within a section of the Congress to make Rahul Gandhi return as Congress President, the Gandhi scion has persisted with his stance that he would not take up the top party post.
Rahul Gandhi had resigned as Congress president after the party suffered its second consecutive defeat in Lok Sabha election in 2019.
Sonia Gandhi, who took over the reins of the party following its 2019 debacle, had also offered to quit in August 2020 after an open revolt by G-23 leaders, but the Congress Working Committee had urged her to continue.