Sonia and Rahul Gandhi
Sonia and Rahul Gandhi
IANS

A Congress dissenters group of 23 met following the Bihar results to take a final call in the ongoing internal crisis of the party. "This fight is for revival of the party and its not a revolt," one of the leaders said.

Those who could not be present physically were contacted remotely to muster support and push through the much needed reforms in the grand old party.

Sources said that Ghulam Nabi Azad will convey the message to Sonia Gandhi.

However, the source maintained that there was no such organised meeting as the group has been meeting on and off since July and more that a few times.

Party leader claimed that the support for the "revival" has swelled up to more than 50, as the chorus for immediate reforms has latched on to the imagination of all those who want what's best for Congress.

On Tuesday the group constituted by Sonia Gandhi to assist her, comprising Ahmed Patel, Ambika Soni, Randeep Surjewala, K.C. Venugopal and Mukul Wasnik, met virtually to discuss the Bihar results as well as the bypolls.

Sources say that Bihar in-charge Shaktisinh Gohil and Gujarat in-charge Rajeev Satav offered to quit, however, they were told to hold on till Sonia Gandhi took stock of the situation.

After Kapil Sibal raised concerns over electoral defeats and crticised the leadership many leaders have come to the defence of the leadership including two Chief Ministers that of Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh who slammed Sibal for going public.

The party leaders are miffed with the way the Bihar polls and states bypolls were handled by the party and recent defeats in the bypolls widened the chasm in the grand old party.

The dissenting leaders want fresh organizational elections from block to CWC level to rejuvenate the cadres, the party's central election authority CEA has met twice to set the ball rolling for elections, and has sought the list of the AICC members but the G23 wants that process of AICC members elections should be done first as the old system of nomination should be done away with, and the election of the party president should be done only after new AICC members are elected.

The group is pushing for elections in CWC, and revival of parliamentary board in the party which is defunct.

Kapil Sibal who is one of the leaders who wrote the infamous letter in August has said that there is no forum to raise concern so he is going public.

The party has not deliberated the issue of Bihar results as the Congress have been found the weakest link in the Grand Alliance and missed the Bihar bus.

The Congress leaders are miffed with the inept handling of issues by team Rahul Gandhi who are calling the shots without any accountability and giving key assignments to inexperienced people who could not take on the BJP in any situation.

Sibal said the party has to acknowledge that it is "on a decline" and needs multiple ways to strengthen itself, ranging from organisational restructuring and media management.

He also stressed that his party needs thoughtful leadership which can be more articulate and take things forward. "The party has more experienced people for discussion, (those) who can understand the political situation and have to reach out to the people."

He also contended that the party is no longer a force and it has to be more conversant with the situation.

The group of 23 leaders had written a letter to interim party chief Sonia Gandhi in August, seeking a complete overhaul of the party and elections from block to the Congress Working Committee level, but came under major attack.

The party is also facing lack of clarity on key policy issue like the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership matter -- with key Congress leaders continuing with different postures.

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