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Is there a divide within Congress’ G23 on the way forward?

They may meet over the weekend to plan their future strategy, says a a senior leader

A section of the Congress G23 or the group of 23 dissenting leaders, who had questioned the party’s functioning in a letter to interim president Sonia Gandhi, may meet over the weekend to plan their future strategy, a senior leader from the group said on Wednesday.

Also read: Sonia Gandhi to stay on as Congress chief until next AICC session

There seems to be a divide within the group, with one section keen on ending the public debate while the other seems determined to “take the issues raised in the letter to their logical end”.

Fresh push

And that could mean giving a fresh push to have elections for the top party post as well the Congress Working Committee (CWC).

“There is no divide among the 23 of us and we have been speaking among ourselves. In fact, we hope to meet over the weekend as more people have called us and extended support. The letter was never about any person but about issue,” said the leader from the G23.

Also read: Congress must give consensus a chance instead of elections for leadership, says Salman Khurshid

After an explosive meeting of the CWC on August 24, the Congress had called upon everyone to treat it as a “close chapter”.

Some of the signatories including Lok Sabha MP Shashi Tharoor, Rajya Sabha MP Akhilesh Prasad Singh and Jitin Prasada endorsed the stand asking everyone to put the controversy behind them.

Former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda even got a resolution passed among the State MLAs endorsing Ms. Gandhi’s leadership.

However, another section is not happy that the party doesn’t seem interested in dealing with the issues raised in the letter.

Despite the CWC resolution asking everyone to work together, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad reiterated in an interview his views of having elected members to the CWC.

Senior leader Kapil Sibal too expressed disappointment over the party’s response to the letter.

Also read: Millions of party workers want Rahul Gandhi back as chief, says Congress

Importance of dissent

Lok Sabha MP Manish Tewari, without mentioning the Congress, wrote an opinion piece in which he underlined the importance of dissent in ancient Indian philosophy and how even the tallest King had to face questioning.

“These divergent views and calls for reforms are coming up as we are not in power. Had we been in power, you wouldn’t have found any dissenting voices,” Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury told The Hindu.

“Some of the signatories are beneficiaries of ‘the system’ they now want to change,” he said without taking anyone’s name.

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