G-23 Rebels to Meet Sonia Gandhi Today Amid Cong’s Preps to Select New Head. Here’s What to Expect


Congress chief Sonia Gandhi will flag of a series of meetings today, to be held over the next 10 days as the party leaders would elect the next Congress president, senior party leader and top spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said. Former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath and senior leader P Chidambaram will also be part of the meeting, sources said.

Ahead of the crucial meeting of Sonia Gandhi which will receive attendance from senior party leaders, who had ‘rebelled’ in August, Congress on Friday downplayed any internal dissensions and said Rahul Gandhi was the “right person” to lead the party. Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the party stood united and together as a family and there are no dissensions pending after the announcement of elections to the party chief’s post.

Earlier in August, some party leaders had demanded an active leadership and maintained that Gandhis will always be a “guiding force”. Sources said among those slated to meet Gandhi are Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, the party’s deputy leader in the upper house Anand Sharma, former chief ministers Bhupinder Hooda and Prithviraj Chavan, Manish Tewari, Vivek Tankha and Shashi Tharoor.

Surjewala, however, downplayed the meet of dissenters or rebels. “Congress workers and the electoral college including the AICC members of the party will choose a person best suited for the post,” he said. Rahul Gandhi is also set to attend the meeting with the G-23 ‘rebels’, the sources confirmed.

“This is not a meet of any special group of leaders. This is not a meet of any dissenters or rebels. Because we consider each leader and each worker as part of the family,” he added.

The meeting is seen as Congress’ move towards reconciliation after months of infighting. A core group of five or six leaders is likely to represent the wider concerns of the 23 leaders who wrote the letter in August.

Meanwhile, senior RJD leader and veteran Bihar socialist Shivanand Tiwary called Rahul Gandhi a “reluctant and uninspiring” leader and urged Sonia Gandhi to overcome “putra moh” (weakness for her son) in deciding her political successor.

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