Congress G-23 leaders meet over poll defeats, Shashi Tharoor attends
New Delhi/IBNS: Days after Congress' humiliating defeat in five state elections, the "G-23" or group of dissident leaders within the party met at Ghulam Nabi Azad's home in Delhi amid calls for a complete change in leadership.
Those who seen attending the meeting at Azad's included Kapil Sibal, Shashi Tharoor, Anand Sharma, Manish Tewari, Bhupinder Hooda, Akhilesh Prasad Singh, Prithviraj Chavan, Raj Babbar, PJ Kurien and Mani Shankar Aiyer.
Shashi Tharoor, who is known to be neutral when it comes to the Gandhis, was a surprise addition to the list.
Ahead of the meeting, the Kerala MP and former Union Minister had tweeted earlier: "I've learned so much from my mistakes, I'm thinking of making a few more." He had captioned it "Without Comment!"
Even on the day of elections results he had said the party cannot avoid change if it wants to revive its fortunes, joining the voices of dissent within the party blaming the leadership.
2/2 And to reform our organisational leadership in a manner that will reignite those ideas and inspire the people.— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) March 10, 2022
One thing is clear - Change is unavoidable if we need to succeed.
On Sunday at the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting called to discuss the poll results, it was decided that Sonia Gandhi will continue to be the interim chief of the Congress.
"The CWC unanimously reaffirmed faith in leadership of Congress President Sonia Gandhi. CWC requests Sonia Gandhi to lead from the front," KC Venugopal had said while addressing a press conference.
Sonia Gandhi had offered her resignation and so did her children Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi, senior Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chaudhury confirmed to media. However, their offers were unanimously rejected by Congress leaders, he said.
The group of dissent leaders had earlier met on the day results of assembly polls were declared.
The G-23 had written to Sonia Gandhi in 2020 seeking a "full-time and visible leadership" following a series of earlier poll defeats.
The Congress has been completely wiped out in state election results declared on March 10, losing Punjab, one of the last major states under its control, to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
It also failed to put up a strong fight in three other states where it had hoped for a comeback - Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur.
In Uttar Pradesh too, where senior leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra heavily campaigned, the Congress got just 2 seats out of 403, a loss of 5 over the last polls. The party got just 2.4 per cent of the vote.