Sonia Gandhi agrees to meet rebel Congress leaders
New Delhi/IBNS: Congress supremo Sonia Gandhi has finally agreed to meet the rebel leaders who wrote a letter calling for the party's leadership and organisational change, reports said.
Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath had reportedly set up the meeting, that is supposed to take place on Saturday.
While 23 leaders had signed the letter, a core group of five or six of them will meet Gandhi and represent their concern to her.
It is not clear if Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Varda would attend the reconciliation meeting.
Kamal Nath, who lost power in Madhya Pradesh in March after party leader Jyotiraditya Scindia switched to BJP, played a role in persuading the Gandhis to meet the letter writers, NDTV quoting sources said. So far, he had kept a distance from the dissenters.
Sonia Gandhi, 74, has remained the interim party president since her son Rahul Gandhi resigned from the party's top post last year over the Congress's second straight national election defeat.
In a major embarrassment, the 137-year-old party lost two key states of Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh and has barely held on to power in Rajasthan, where rebel Sachin Pilot could be pacified after meeting with the Gandhis.
Recently, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot alleged that the threat of the BJP trying to topple his government with help from Congress rebels was not gone.
In reacting to Congress' poor show over the time period, senior leader Kapil Sibal in an interview with The Indian Express said that he had been forced to go public with his views as " there has been no dialogue and there seems to be no effort for a dialogue by the leadership".
Kapil Sibal was among the 23 Congress leaders who had signed the August's 'dissent letter', which caused an all-out clash within the party.
The letter called for sweeping reforms, introspection and "full-time, visible leadership" of a party that has had Gandhi as "interim" chief since Rahul Gandhi resigned from the top post following last year's Lok Sabha polls debacle.
Another senior party leader P Chidambaram had also called for a "comprehensive review" and suggested that the party needed to strengthen its core.