Months After Dissent, Sonia Gandhi Agrees To Meet Some Of Letter-Writers On Saturday; Cong Leadership On Agenda



New Delhi: Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi on Saturday will meet a section of senior leaders who had written to her in the last four months demanding a structural overhaul in the grand old party and an effective and full-time leadership. However, refuting the claims of internal dissent in the party, some loyalists have reiterated that Rahul Gandhi is the “right person” to lead Congress. ALSO READ | Ladakh Standoff: India, China Resume Diplomatic Talks; Vow To Work Towards Complete Disengagement

Sonia Gandhi’s meeting will be party high command’s first attempt to discuss the issue with party leaders. As per sources, senior leaders of Congress including former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, former Finance Minister P Chidambaram and Shashi Tharoor are likely to meet Sonia today.

Other leaders such as AK Antony, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma, Bhupinder S Hooda, Kamal Nath, Prithvi Raj Chauhan and Priyanka Gandhi will also be a part of the meeting.

The assertion comes ahead of Saturday’s meeting between Sonia Gandhi and many of the 23 leaders who wrote to her in August. They had also demanded an active leadership and maintained that Gandhis will always be a “guiding force”.

However, participation of Rahul Gandhi is still not confirmed.

Even as the party downplayed any internal frictions, the “letter writers” maintain that the issues they raised remain relevant and are “far from over”.

In a recent turn of events, Ghulam Nabi Azad slammed “five-star culture” in the party and said elections must be held at all organisational levels starting from block levels. However, addressing a press conference, Randeep Surjewala said that all issues raised by the “letter writers” stood resolved after Sonia Gandhi announced elections for the Congress president.

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“This is not a meet of any special group of leaders. This is not a meet of any dissenters or rebels. Because we consider each leader and each worker as part of the family,” he said while seeking to downplay the meet.

Surejewala also claimed that an overwhelming majority of 99.9 per cent leaders and workers believe that Rahul Gandhi is the right person to lead the party and to take on the Modi government.

He said Rahul Gandhi is perhaps that “rare breed” of leaders who has fearlessly questioned the anti-people policies of Modi government and endearing himself not only to congress workers but also to ordinary Indians.

Starting Saturday and over a period of the next fortnight, Sonia Gandhi is going to meet and decide on various organisational issues besides those like winter session of Parliament not held, the farmers agitation and finalising alliances in key states.



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