After nearly 23 Congress leaders wrote to the interim chief Sonia Gandhi seeking the party’s revival, several reports suggested that the 73-year-old veteran leader has offered to step down at the party meet scheduled for 24 August and asked for senior leaders to find her replacement.
Senior Congress leaders – including former chief ministers, sitting members of parliament (MP) and former union ministers – have written a letter to Sonia Gandhi asking for changes in the party, arguing that the party’s revival is “a national imperative”, reported The Indian Express.
Sonia, in her response to the letter, reportedly said that all the leaders should get together and find a new chief as she does not want to carry out the responsibilities any further, Hindustan Times (HT) reported.
Sonia Gandhi had taken over as the interim president after her son and then President Rahul Gandhi resigned from the top position following the party’s debacle in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
WHAT THE LETTER BY SENIOR LEADER SAYS
The letter which was reportedly sent a fortnight ago, seeks a full-time and an “effective leadership” for the party which is “active and visible” on the ground.
According to IE, the letter points out that the party is losing the confidence of the youth, touching upon the rise of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to state that the youth of the country voted for Narendra Modi.
Referring to the political situation in the country, the top leadership has written that the revival of the party is necessary for the democracy. It further adds that the party faces this situation when the country is facing its “gravest” social, economic and political challenges.
The letter enlists the hardships due to the pandemic, India-China border standoff, “communal and divisive agenda of the BJP”, economic slowdown, unemployment, and has asked for a slew of changes within the party structure which includes – decentralisation of power, empowerment of the state units, constitution of a central parliamentary board, elections to Congress organisations at all levels among others.
The letter also points out that the “uncertainty” over leadership has demoralised the workers which in turn has weakened the party.
‘CWC IS NOT GUIDING THE PARTY’
The letter penned by the senior Congress leaders has reportedly also said that the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meetings are not regular and are in reaction to political developments. The leadership has also said that the CWC is not effective in being able to mobilise the public opinion against the BJP.
With respect to the Congress Parliamentary Party, the leadership has reportedly said that the meetings have reduced to addresses and obituary references and that there are no discussions being held with respect to setting the national agenda.
The leaders have also argued that the party didn’t introspect after its poor performance in the Lok Sabha elections.
The letter has also mentioned that elections should be held at all levels to select CWC members. The leaders have also complained about state Congress presidents and the lack of power they have.
Among those who have signed the letter are Ghulam Nabi Azad, Kapil Sibal, Shashi Tharoor, Anand Sharma, Manish Tewari, former Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda.
According to a report in NDTV, the CWC is scheduled to meet on Monday, 24 August, where the leadership is likely to discuss the issues raised in the letter.
(With inputs from NDTV , Hindustan Times and The Indian Express.)
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