AICC President Sonia reaches out G-23 leader Ghulam Nabi Azad
G-23 leaders have held a series of meetings since the party's highest decision-making body CWC has reposing faith in the leadership of the Gandhis despite electoral losses.
New Delhi: Amidst growing discontent in the party for a change of leadership following the dismal performance of the Congress in just concluded five state Assembly elections, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Saturday met party leader Ghulam Nabi Azad to placate sulking G-23 leader of the grand old party.
Mr. Azad held a series of parlays with 'G-23' dissidents, after the poll debacle of the Congress, in the meeting, dissent leaders have pressed party overhaul of the party organization.
The dissidents have held a series of meetings since Wednesday, upset with the stance of the Gandhi-family loyalists at Sunday's meeting of the party's highest decision-making body, the Congress Working Committee. The loyalists insist on reaffirming the leadership of the Gandhis despite serial losses.
In the CWC meet, party leaders had turned down Sonia Gandhi's offer to step down from all posts with her children Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.
The G-23 has been persistently seeking a restructuring of the organisation since it first wrote to Sonia Gandhi in 2020 after a string of electoral losses. The Congress lost Punjab and has been practically wiped out in Uttar Pradesh and the other states.
In fact, G-23 leaders have issued a statement on Wednesday, that said the "only way forward for the Congress was to adopt a model of inclusive and collective leadership and decision making at all levels." They insisted they want to strengthen the Congress and "not undermine it in any way."
Sonia Gandhi's meeting was seen as part of a wider effort by the family to reach out to the G-23.
On Saturday, Rahul Gandhi had reached out to former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who had attended the G-23 meet on Wednesday. During the meeting, Mr Hooda sought clarity over who is making the decisions in the party, sources said. Stressing on the need to make decisions collectively, Mr Hooda told Rahul Gandhi that the leaders would often come to know about party decisions from the newspapers.
Mr Hooda also said that the G-23 leaders have not done any "anti-party activities" adding that the meeting of the faction was held after informing Sonia Gandhi, NDTV reported.