India / Rahul Gandhi's leadership necessary, say Cong leaders after 5-hr meet

Zoom News : Dec 20, 2020, 02:38 PM
New Delhi: Rahul Gandhi’s leadership is necessary for Congress to move forward and the party will organise a ‘Chintan Shivir’ soon to discuss the challenges before the party, Congress leaders said on Saturday after a meeting held at Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s residence which was also attended by some of the 23 leaders who had called for sweeping changes in the party.

Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra were also present in the meeting.

The five-hour meeting, which also included some of Sonia Gandhi’s close associates, was significant as it was the first effort by the Congress leadership for a rapprochement with the ‘letter-writers’ who had raised questions over the leadership.

Six out of 23 leaders, who wrote the letter to Sonia Gandhi seeking sweeping changes including “full-time and active” leadership and organizational elections, were also present at the meeting.

Asserting that there was no dissidence in the Congress, party leader Pawan Bansal, a Sonia Gandhi loyalist, said the meeting was held on a positive note and in a congenial atmosphere with all the leaders expressing their views and suggesting ways to make the party stronger.

This was also the first time that Gandhi met Congress leaders in person since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Discussions were held on a positive note at the meeting where leaders talked about how to strengthen the party at all levels. Congress chief Sonia Gandhi said we all are one big family and we all should work to strengthen the party. Rahul Gandhi also talked about strengthening the party,” Bansal told reporters after the meeting.

“There is no dissidence in the Congress party and all are committed to working unitedly to energise the party and fight all those forces which are trying to put upend the idea of India, as enshrined in the Constitution and as articulated by the founding fathers of India’s Constitution,” Bansal said.

Prithviraj Chavan, who was one of the senior leaders who wrote to Congress matriarch, addressed the media after the meeting and said the party will organise a ‘Chintan Shivir’ soon to discuss the challenges and party’s future strategy.

“There will also be a Chintan Shivir like Panchmarhi and Shimla,” Chavan said. He said that party leaders will sit together during Chintan Shivir and give their suggestions to strengthen the party and discuss the way ahead.

“Everything will be deliberated during the Chintan Shivir. Working committee meetings will now be regular. There was some problem due to coronavirus,” Chauhan added.

Apart from Sonia Gandhi, the meeting was attended by Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, AK Antony, Ambika Soni, P Chidambaram, Ashok Gehlot, Kamal Nath, Bhakta Charan Das, Pawan Bansal, Ajay Maken, Harish Rawat, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Manish Tiwari, Prithviraj Chavan, Vivek Tankha, Bhupendra Singh Hooda, Shashi Tharoor and Anand Sharma.