In an unprecedented move in the history of Indian National Congress, 23 senior leaders wrote a letter to party chief Sonia Gandhi, asking her for “sweeping changes” in the party.
The list includes five former chief ministers, sitting MPs Shashi Tharoor and Manish Tewari, members of Congress Working Committee and over a dozen former union ministers with years of political experience.
Leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha
Ghulam Nabi Azad, one of the signatories to the letter, is the leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha. A party veteran from Sanjay Gandhi days, Azad's term in Rajya Sabha ends in February 2021. He also led the party successfully in the 2002 Assembly election in Jammu and Kashmir.
Five former chief ministers
The signatories of the letter include five former chief ministers.
Bhupinder Singh Hooda, currently the leader of the opposition in Haryana Legislative Assembly. He has served as the chief minister of Haryana twice from 2005 to 2014.
Rajinder Kaur Bhattal was the chief minister of Punjab in 1996 and the first and so far only female to hold the office of Chief Minister in the state. In January 2004, she accepted a position as deputy chief minister of Punjab.
Marpadi Veerappa Moily was the chief minister of Karnataka in 1992.
Prithviraj Chavan became chief minister of Maharashtra in 2010 at the insistence of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, succeeding unrelated Ashok Chavan. He resigned as the chief minister of Maharashtra after the ruling NCP-Congress alliance split in 2014.
Ghulam Nabi Azad also served as the chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir from November 2005 to July 2008.
Kapil Sibal has served as Additional Solicitor General of India and President of the Supreme Court Bar Association on three occasions. He has also formerly served at the helm of various ministries in the Congress-led UPA government.
Manish Tewari is former Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting. Tewari is an advocate by profession, presently practicing in the Supreme Court of India and the High Courts of Delhi as well as Punjab and Haryana.
Vivek Tankha, Member of Parliament, is a senior advocate at the Supreme Court of India. He was one of the youngest Advocate Generals of Madhya Pradesh and had played a major role in resolving disputes between Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. He has been representing the whistleblower in Vyapam Scam case of Madhya Pradesh.
Marpadi Veerappa Moily is also a lawyer by profession and has practised in Karnataka High Court and Supreme Court of India. In fact, he also served as the law minister twice.
Former Union Ministers and top Brass of Congress
Other signatories include AICC office bearers and CWC members, including Mukul Wasnik and Jitin Prasada, former Union Ministers, including Bhupinder Singh Hooda, M Veerappa Moily, Prithviraj Chavan, PJ Kurian, Ajay Singh, Renuka Chaudhary and Milind Deora.
Former PCC chiefs Raj Babbar (UP), Arvinder Singh Lovely (Delhi) and Kaul Singh Thakur (Himachal) are also part of the letter which has been signed by current Bihar campaign chief Akhilesh Prasad Singh, former Haryana Speaker Kuldeep Sharma and former Delhi Speaker Yoganand Shastri.