Congress leader Rahul Gandhi

After a break, Congress dissenters ready to raise their voice again

By IANS

Published: 03 September, 2020 18:10 IST

The party leaders say that even after two consecutive defeats there hasn't been any brainstorming session on the causes of defeat and on moving forward when the party is facing tough challenges from the BJP

After the stormy Congress Working Committee (CWC) session over a letter written by a group of dissenters, the issue has certainly not died down. The suspension in dissent is only on a small, temporary break. Sources within the dissenters' group say that the grand old party cannot be run like a "proprietorship" and it must transform into a vibrant political party.

"There is no issue of president. Anybody can become the president even Rahul Gandhi, but it cannot run like it's running today, akin to a proprietorship" said one of the signatories on condition of anonymity.

Party leaders are divided on the issue of the taking on the first family of the party as a section of the group says that they should wait for the timeframe given by the working committee even as the majority of dissenters say that we should keep on pressing the issue, sources said.

The group is also miffed that the issues which have been flagged have not been discussed at all in the Congress Working Committee meeting or otherwise, though Rahul Gandhi has reached out to party veteran Ghulam Nabi Azad and Sonia, too, called him, but the group has not kept quiet on the issues. Senior leader Anand Sharma said, "If calling for introspection is rebellion, then I have done it," he told a group of mediapersons on Wednesday.

The party leaders say that even after two consecutive defeats there hasn't been any brainstorming session on the causes of defeat and on moving forward when the party is facing tough challenges from the BJP.

The Congress officially maintains that anybody who still has a problem can speak with Sonia Gandhi. "She had heard all the voices of dissent and wanted to take everybody along. She has already communicated that she has no ill-will towards anybody," Congress Chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said on Thursday, when asked about the rebellion during a press conference.

The stormy CWC meeting held last Monday witnessed Sonia Gandhi offering to quit and Rahul Gandhi questioning the timing of a letter by the 'dissenters',as the party working committee decided that Sonia will continue till arrangements were made.

The CWC was held after 23 Congress leaders wrote a letter for "visible leadership" in the party and said the party leadership should take everybody along and put up a serious challenge to the BJP.

The letter lamented that the "party is declining and unable to confront the rise of the BJP in the country".

The party leaders insisted that the country is facing grave challenges from economic recession, the pandemic, and border tensions with China in Ladakh.

The leaders wanted elections from block level upward to the level of the CWC. Elections in the CWC were discontinued after Sonia Gandhi took charge and the nomination system was adopted for the highest decision-making body in the party. The revival of the parliamentary board is also sought by these leaders.

The party leaders want proper discussions in the CWC and the Congress Parliamentary Party meetings. In the letter, it has been emphasised that instead of reactions, the Congress should set the political agenda and alternate narrative to counter the BJP.

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