No groups in Congress, party united in defeating BJP: Anand Sharma

·2-min read

New Delhi, Mar 10 (PTI) There are no groups in the Congress and it stands united in the fight against the BJP and other opponents in the upcoming Assembly polls in four states and a Union Territory, senior party leader Anand Sharma said on Wednesday.

Sharma, a prominent member of the 'Group of 23' leaders who wrote to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi demanding an organisational overhaul, said there should be no wrong impression about groupism in the party.

'There are no two groups. It is one Congress and the president is Sonia Gandhi. Right now, the only objective before the party is to fight the elections together to defeat the BJP and other opponents,' he told a press conference.

'Let there be no wrong impression that the Congress will not fight these battles together,' the former Union minister stressed.

He was asked about senior leader P C Chacko quitting the Congress ahead of the Kerala Assembly polls and groupism growing in the party.

Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge preferred not to answer the question, saying he will do so at the right time.

Sharma said the Congress has historically stood for internal discussions, where issues are debated within the organisation.

'In the long history of the INC from the days of the freedom struggle, when Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru Vallabhbhai Patel, Subhas Chandra Bose were there, the tradition has continued,' he noted.

Sharma's remarks came after the 'Group of 23' leaders, led by Ghulam Nabi Azad, made a public display of strength at a recent function in Jammu, where they said the party has 'weakened' and there is a need to strengthen it.

Azad has recently said he and other leaders of the 'Group of 23' will campaign for the upcoming Assembly polls in West Bengal, Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and their top priority is to ensure that the Congress wins in these elections.

Rumblings within the Congress have come to the fore ever since the group wrote to Sonia Gandhi, demanding elections for every post in the party. PTI SKC RC