Congress president Sonia Gandhi has constituted three committees to consider and discuss issues and policies related to Economic Affairs, Foreign Affairs, and National Security and keep her informed on the aforementioned subjects, the party said in a statement on Friday.
While the Economic Affairs Committee consists of names such as former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and veteran leader P Chidambaram, some of the notable names on the Committee on Foreign Affairs include Anand Sharma, Shashi Tharoor, and Salman Khurshid.
The Committee on National Security includes senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad.
Manmohan Singh is a part of all three committees.
The following are the members of the newly-formed Congress committees:
Committee on Economic Affairs
Committee on Foreign Affairs
Committee on National Security
Ghulam Nabi Azad
Vincent H Pala
It is interesting that Anand Sharma has been included in the Congress Committee on Foreign Affairs, days after he deviated from the party's official stance over RCEP, the recent key trade deal in the Asia-Pacific.
Following Sharma's statement, reports of a very public 'dissent' within the ranks of the Congress had floated, casting doubts on the grand old party's organisational hold.
Back in August, he was one of the 23 Congress leaders who wrote a letter to party president Sonia Gandhi seeking urgent organisational overhaul "in the best interest of the nation and the party."
The signatories of the letter, which also included veteran leader Kapil Sibal, had conveyed "shared concerns" over the conditions of the party and sought sweeping organisational changes — including having a "full time, active and visible" leadership, devolution of powers to state units and revamping the Congress Working Committee (CWC) in line with the party constitution.
This comes amid a very public turmoil within the ranks of Congress, wherein a few senior leaders including Sibal and Karti Chidambaram called for introspection after the party's poor show in Bihar.
"First of all, we Congressmen must recognise that we are in decline.... The Congress needs to discover itself," Sibal had said in an interview, triggering condemnations from other veteran leaders like Ashok Gehlot, Tariq Anwar, and Salman Khurshid who, among other things, said that the detractors within Congress' were "doubting Thomases" who suffer from periodic "pangs of anxiety".