G-23 members got a best opportunity for discussing the state affairs in the party in Janmashtami celebrations at senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal’s residence. There is also a possibility of poll strategist Prashant Kishor joining Congress.
But some of the members are opposing Kishor’s entry and the group is probably going to adopt a “wait and watch” policy. The get-together happened a year after the G-23 members wrote a letter to party president Sonia Gandhi for revamping the organisation.
The members who are there in the celebration at Sibal’s residence included Ghulam Nabi Azad, Shashi Tharoor, Vivek Tankha, Anand Sharma, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Manish Tewari and Mukul Wasnik.
The other senior leaders are supporting Kishor’s entry are said to have joined the discussion virtually.
“There are certainly grave apprehensions about outsourcing the party. It does not reflect well on the leadership since the Congress has a lot of talented people. But it won’t become a flashpoint as we are adopting a wait and watch policy for now,” told a member of the G-23 to media. “Eventually, it is the Congress Working Committee [CWC] and not the G-23 that will take a call,” he said.
Leaders Ambika Soni and A.K. Antony and Ambika Soni were asked to take the feedback of the CWC members.
And the discussions were held among CWC members in different groups.
However, opinions are varying over making Mr. Kishor a general secretary and a CWC member straight away.
“The Congress is a 135-year-old institution and not a start-up where someone comes in with fancy ideas and takes over. Without leaders like West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin or Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, his strategy won’t be much. We have seen his effectiveness in the 2017 Uttar Pradesh Assembly election when he worked for the Congress-SP alliance,” said a leader.
In the discussion, the handling of Punjab and Chhattisgarh crisis and failure in Assembly elections in Assam, Kerala and West Bengal are said to have been discussed. “The report of the committee that went into the reasons for the debacle in these States has neither been discussed at the CWC nor among the leaders. Like the A.K. Antony report [that examined the 2014 Lok Sabha poll results], this report, too, may be buried,” said another leader.