After poll debacle in five states, Congress G-23 leaders to demand reforms during CWC meet

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Rahul Gandhi, President of India’s main opposition Congress party, looks up before releasing his party’s election manifesto for the April/May general election in New Delhi, India, April 2, 2019. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi/File Photo

Congress G-23 leaders, who are members of the Congress Working Committee, are set to raise their demand for reforms in the party during the CWC meeting to be held in the next few days to discuss the poll debacle in the five states, sources said on Friday.

Congress G23 met at senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad’s residence in the national capital on Friday, March 11, 2022. The Congress has said that party chief Sonia Gandhi will call a meeting of the working committee soon to discuss the party’s preparations.

Congress leaders Bhupender Singh Hooda, Manish Tewari, Kapil Sibal and Anand Sharma, Akhilesh Prasad Singh are among those present at the meeting. Sources said some other G-23 members have joined the meeting virtually. The G-23 leaders had written to party chief Sonia Gandhi in August 2020 calling for sweeping reforms in the party including direct election at various levels.

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Congress had said on Thursday that the results of five states have come against the expectations of the party.

The party had also indicated that the clashing ambitions of its leaders had hurt the party’s prospects.

Party leader Randeep Singh Surjewala said there was a need to “seriously introspect, re-examine, re-think” whether the race for political positions “is undermining the position of the party to an extent where we end up helping the cause of our opposition and where we end up causing loss to the Congress party”.

He said this question needs to be answered “not only in Punjab, not only in Uttarakhand, not only in Goa, but across the country”.

Surjewala also talked of anti-incumbency in Punjab, which was ruled by Congress.

“In Punjab, Congress presented a new leadership through Charanjit Singh Channi who is the son of the soil, but the entire anti-incumbency of 4.5 years under Captain Amarinder Singh could not be overcome and hence people voted for AAP for change,” he said.

Party leader Shashi Tharoor had on Thursday called for reforming the party’s “organisational leadership in a manner that will reignite those ideas and inspire the people”. “One thing is clear — Change is unavoidable if we need to succeed,” he said in a tweet.

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