Congress high command called Haryana strongman Bhupinder Singh Hooda for a meeting
Deccan Chronicle.| Ashhar Khan
The meeting ostensibly was called to discuss the Haryana Congress' issues but the topic soon turned to the change seekers
Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda leaves from the residence of party leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, after the Congress G-23 leaders' meeting, in New Delhi. (PTI)
New Delhi: A day after the change seekers, known as G-23, flexed their muscles in a show of strength, the Congress high command called Haryana strongman Bhupinder Singh Hooda for a meeting. Mr Hooda met Rahul Gandhi on Thursday afternoon for 45 minutes at the latter’s residence. The meeting ostensibly was called to discuss the Haryana Congress' issues but the topic soon turned to the change seekers.
After the meeting with Mr Gandhi, Mr Hooda met with other G-23 leaders at the residence of Ghulam Nabi Azad where Anand Sharma was also present. In the evening another meeting was held at Mr Azad’s residence which was attended by several other G-23 members too.
Insiders claim that a rapprochement may be worked out though everything is at a very early stage. Several reports indicate that a meeting is on the cards between the Congress president Mrs Sonia Gandhi and Mr Ghulam Nabi Azad maybe some other G 23 leaders will also be present. Such meetings have taken place earlier too but this time a concrete proposal with a time-line is on the cards. The only meeting that the entire G-23 leaders have had with the Congress high command was in December 2020.
Several options are being discussed by the G-23 to ensure that their voice is heard in the party. None of the leaders are trying to leave the party. Instead ‘they want to give constructive suggestions to the leadership so that the party can be strengthened’. The continued election debacles for the Congress have only strengthened the hands of the change seekers while putting the high command on the backfoot.
The G-23 leaders had met for a dinner meeting at the residence of Mr Ghulam Nabi Azad on Wednesday evening, too. They also issued a joint statement demanding collective leadership. The joint statement said, "Only way forward for the Congress was to adopt a model of inclusive and collective leadership and decision making at all levels." The leaders at the dinner included Anand Sharma, Kapil Sibal, Manish Tewari, Shashi Tharoor, Raj Babbar, Sandeep Dixit, Prithviraj Chauhan, Mani Shankar Aiyar, Preneet Kaur, Rajinder Kaur Bhattal amongst others.
Earlier one of the G-23 leaders and former Union minister Kapil Sibal had asked the Gandhis to voluntarily pave the way for a new leadership. The Delhi Congress and several other senior leaders have demanded his expulsion for such utterances.