Congress’ G-23 took defensive stance at CWC meet

New Delhi, March 14 (IANS) The group of dissenters within the Congress, also known as G-23, took a defensive stance during the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting on Sunday, as their representatives raised only ‘technical points’ and did not press for a change in the leadership as they had demanded in 2020.
Sources said that at the meeting, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Anand Sharma repeatedly reiterated that “they are in the party and are not rebels, but want the party to perform electorally”.
Azad said that many decisions were taken late by the party which led to the recent Assembly poll debacle.
The Congress’ interim chief Sonia Gandhi offered to “step back” from her role during the over five-hour long meeting on the fall-out of the recent Assembly polls.
However, the CWC refused to accept it and reposed faith in the interim chief. The CWC also authorised her to make “necessary and comprehensive” organisational changes.
After the CWC meet, some of the G-23 leaders privately admitted that it’s the end of the road for them in the party “till Rahul Gandhi is at the helm”. However, many believe that they will be in the party and not as a “tenant as they have dedicated years for the party”.
The brainstorming session next month will pave way for the party to rejuvenate and reinvent itself.
With two crucial states — Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh — going to the polls later this year, and given that the party’s strength in the Rajya Sabha is set to get reduced after the Punjab election results, it would be interesting to see if the dissenters find place in the new team.
“The recent Assembly election results in five states are a cause of serious concern for the Congress. The party accepts that due to shortcomings in our strategy, we could not effectively expose the misrule of BJP governments in four states and overcome the anti-incumbency in Punjab in the short time after effecting a change in leadership,” read the CWC resolution.
“The Congress will be fully prepared to face the electoral challenges in the upcoming elections in 2022 and 2023 as well as in the Lok Sabha elections in 2024.
“The CWC unanimously reaffirms its faith in the leadership of Sonia Gandhi and requests the Congress President to lead from the front, address the organisational weaknesses, and effect necessary and comprehensive organisational changes in order to take on the political challenges,” concluded the resolution.

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