In a first Congress G-23 leaders meeting yesterday after the recent assembly elections debacle, party chief Sonia Gandhi is learnt to have spoken to senior leader Ghulam Nabi Azad.
While, Sonia is yet to meet other leaders, as per sources, the G-23 leaders said the “only way forward” for the party was to adopt a model of “collective and inclusive leadership and decision-making at all levels.”
Some of the G-23 leaders met at Azad’s residence on Wednesday which saw three new members Mani Shankar Aiyar, Preneet Kaur and Shankarsinh Vaghela, who had quit the party in 2017, the Indian Express reported.
Vaghela joined the NCP in 2019, but left last year. He is reported to be keen to return to the Congress.
“We the… members of the Congress party met to deliberate on the demoralising outcome of the recent results of the Assembly elections and the constant exodus of both our workers and leaders. We believe that the only way forward is for the Congress party to adopt the model of collective and inclusive leadership and decision-making at all levels,” the party said in a statement.
“In order to oppose the BJP, it is necessary to strengthen the Congress party. We demand the Congress party to initiate dialogue with other like-minded forces to create a platform to pave the way for a credible alternative for 2024,” it said.
Azad, Anand Sharma, Kapil Sibal, Prithviraj Chavan, Manish Tewari, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Akhilesh Prasad Singh, Raj Babbar, Vaghela, Aiyar, Shashi Tharoor, P J Kurien, M A Khan, Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Sandeep Dikshit, Kuldeep Sharma, Vivek Tankha and Preneet Kaur were among the signatories.
Meanwhile, Congress leaders who back the Gandhis stepped up their attack on Sibal. Leader of the Opposition in RS Mallikarjun Kharge accused the G-23 leaders of trying to break the party by continuing to hold meetings even after the CWC discussed all the issues at its recent meeting.