Sweetening The Peace Deal
India Today|December 07, 2020
On November 20, less than two weeks into the Congress’s desultory performance in the Bihar assembly election and the Madhya Pradesh by-elections, party chief Sonia Gandhi constituted three internal committees to “consider and discuss issues and policies” related to the economy, foreign affairs and national security.
Kaushik Deka

The move came amid growing calls for introspection and action by senior party leaders, including the group of 23 who had written a letter to her in August to demand an organisational overhaul. By seeking an “active and available” leadership, they had also questioned the current party president. What surprised many in the Congress was that four of the ‘letter writers’—Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma, Veerappa Moily and Shashi Tharoor—were included in the three committees.

In August, Sonia completed a year as interim president after her son Rahul Gandhi resigned from the top party post following the Congress’s disastrous performance in the 2019 Lok Sabha election. While Sonia was reluctant to step in, Rahul was categorical about not returning to the chair, even though he remained de facto head. The party itself, it must be said, showed no appetite to resolve the leadership crisis, if it entailed finding a solution beyond the Gandhis. The letter writers, who included veterans like Kapil Sibal and Bhupinder Singh Hooda, had made the point that the continuing uncertainty over leadership was hurting the party and requested Sonia to go for an organisational revamp.

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