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Only way forward for Cong to adopt model of inclusive leadership: 'G-23' leaders after meeting at Azad’s home

We demand the Congress party to initiate dialogue with other likeminded forces to create a platform to pave way for a credible alternative for 2024: Joint statement of Congress' G 23 leaders.

Edited by: India TV News Desk New Delhi Updated on: March 16, 2022 23:13 IST
Only way forward is for Congress to adopt inclusive

Only way forward is for Congress to adopt inclusive leadership: G-23 leaders after meeting at Azad’s residence


  • G-23 leaders met at Ghulam Nabi Azad's home in Delhi this evening
  • Meet comes after the Congress's defeat in five states
  • Ghulam Nabi Azad, is likely to meet party chief Sonia Gandhi at 10 Janpath on Thursday

The leaders of the Congress's "Group of 23" on Wednesday said the only way forward for the grand old party is to adopt a model of collective and inclusive leadership and decision making at all levels. In a statement, they also urged the Congress leadership to initiate talks with like-minded forces to create a way for a credible alternative in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

The G-23 leaders met at the residence of former Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad over dinner on Wednesday to work out the grouping's future strategy and discuss the Congress's debacle in the just-concluded Assembly polls in five states. Sources said the grouping had earlier planned a dinner at Kapil Sibal's residence, but it was changed at the last minute.

Following the poll debacle of Congress in five states and a row and accountability over leadership, senior Congress leader and member of the dissident "G-23" group of leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, is likely to meet party chief Sonia Gandhi at 10 Janpath on Thursday.

Among the leaders who attended today's meeting were Sibal, Anand Sharma, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Prithviraj Chavan, Manish Tewari, Shashi Tharoor, Vivek Tankha, Raj Babbar, Akhilesh Prasad Singh and Sandeep Dikshit. The ambit of the G-23 grouping increased this time as some more leaders -- Patiala MP Preneet Kaur, former Gujarat chief minister Shankar Singh Vaghela, former Union minister Mani Shankar Aiyar, former Rajya Sabha deputy chairman PJ Kurian and former Haryana speaker Kuldeep Sharma joined the dinner meeting.

The grouping had given an open invite to other Congressmen to join them at the dinner meeting. The sources said the meeting was convened to apprise all the G-23 members of the decisions taken at the crucial Congress Working Committee (CWC) meet on Sunday.

Two prominent G-23 members -- Azad and Sharma -- were to apprise the other members of the developments at the CWC meeting and what they said on strengthening the party in the wake of its drubbing in the Assembly polls, they said. The performance of the Congress in these states was poor as it failed to win any of the four BJP-ruled states -- Uttar Pradesh, Goa, Uttarakhand and Manipur -- while it lost Punjab to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

The G-23 grouping has been critical of the Congress leadership. It has been demanding an organisational overhaul, after they wrote a joint letter to party president Sonia Gandhi in 2020. The sources said invitations were also extended to the Congressmen who do not constitute the bloc but feel that changes are required, including at the leadership level, to revive the party's electoral fortunes.

The decision to convene a meeting of the G-23 came a day after Gandhi sought the resignation of the Congress presidents of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Manipur and Goa. Sibal, in his latest salvo targeting the leadership had said the Gandhis should step aside and give some other leader a chance to helm the party, provoking a backlash from the Gandhi family loyalists, who accused him of speaking the language of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). The G-23 has, however, got weakened over time with senior leader M Veerappa Moily distancing himself from the group, Jitin Prasada joining the BJP and Mukul Wasnik not attending its meetings in recent times.


Also Read | Congress rebels, G23, meet at Ghulam Nabi Azad's house for assembly election debacle postmortem

Also Read | 'Doesn't know ABC of Congress': Gehlot slams Kapil Sibal for criticising Gandhi family


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