A five-hour-long meeting at 10 Janpath, but a question that many were expecting would be answered in the meeting still remained unanswered. The question was if Rahul Gandhi will become the president of the Congress party again.
The meeting was attended by interim Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi and UP GS Incharge Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma, Bhupender Singh Hooda, Manish Tiwari, Shahsi Tharoor, Vivek Tankha and Prithvi Raj Chavan amongst those who wrote the letter. Dr. Manmohan Singh, Kamal Nath, P Chidambaram, Ashok Gahlot, Ambika Soni ,Pawan Kumar Bansal, Harish Rawat, Ajay Maken, Bhakt Charan Das and AK Antony were among others present in the meeting.
The first in-person meeting of the Congress party during COVID-19 went on for 5 hours with dissenters and some of the Sonia Gandhi loyalists having discussions on the way forward for the grand old party. However, leaders from Rahul’s camp were conspicuous by their absence.
Leaders like Randeep Singh Surjewala, KC Venugopal and Rajeev Sattav who are considered to be close confidantes of former Congress president were not a part of the meeting.
Sources suggest they were deliberately kept away from the meeting, as many dissenters felt that a free-wheeling discussion would not have been possible with their presence in the meeting.
A total of 19 leaders attended the meeting, including the Gandhis. Everyone spoke and gave their suggestions.
As per the sources, the letter group of leaders reiterated their stand that there needs to be an elected Congress president along with an elected Parliamentary board and elected Congress working committee. These leaders also emphasised that those who have appointed people who fail to perform should be held responsible.
One of the leaders, who was part of the meeting, said there was a big shift on how meetings used to take place earlier and the one that took place on Saturday – the Gandhis came to receive everyone at 10 Janpath, they listened to everyone and all leaders put forth their point of view.
Interim Congress President Sonia Gandhi assured everyone that there will be more such discussions in the days to come.
“Congress is a big family” and everyone will have to fight together,” Sonia Gandhi said.
Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi also said that the party needs to fight Narender Modi and his government unitedly and he is with everyone in this fight. In fact, at one point, he told Mr. Kamalnath, the former MP chief minister that when he was the CM of Madhya Pradesh, the RSS bureaucrats were running the government, and not him.
Gandhi’s statement came in the context of challenges that the Congress party is facing.
At one point, former Madhya Pradesh CM Kamalnath made a reference of young v/s old to which Rahul Gandhi said that most of them are his father’s colleagues and he respects all of them and will work along with them to strengthen the party.
Leaders like Antony, Ambika Soni and Ajay Maken suggested Rahul Gandhi should become the President of the party, however, as per sources present in the meeting none of the dissenters said anything, while Gandhis didn’t respond to any such proposal made by some Sonia Gandhi loyalists.
The party discussed everything, however, the question about Rahul Gandhi leading the party again remained unanswered.
Rahul Gandhi, however, did say that he is with the party in fighting Narender Modi.
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