amidst the commotion Punjab With Congress and several party leaders resigning to join opposition parties, senior leader Kapil Sibal on Wednesday called an urgent meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) and wondered who was taking decisions in the party in the absence of a full-time president. . .
Sibal is also a member of the ‘Group of 23 leaders’, he said, adding that the group is not “Ji Huzoor 23” and will continue to voice its opinion and reiterate the demands. Meanwhile, Sibal had remarks. Welcoming by other party leaders, carrying placards ‘Get Well Soon Kapil Sibal’ and raising slogans against him, Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) workers protested outside his Jor Bagh residence, saying they “Disgusted” by his remarks.
Congress general secretary Ajay Maken and Chhattisgarh minister TS Singhdeo hit out at Sibal for his remarks, Manickam Tagore, a permanent invitee to the CWC, took a jibe at Sibal’s remarks on Twitter, saying, “The symbol of sacrifice is Mrs. Sonia Gandhi ji. . Congress President. It is unfortunate that even learned people speak the language of the Sanghis and indirectly help them. Why?”
Following the defeat in the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections after the Congress’s older party—the Congress, a group of 23 leaders called for a change of organizational level.
So, what is the G-23 group?
In August 2020, 23 senior Congress leaders wrote a letter to interim party chief Sonia Gandhi requesting immediate and proactive leadership, organizational change. In the letter, he called for a turnaround within the party in view of the persistent failures in the Lok Sabha and state elections. Over time the demand for leaders intensified and senior party leaders, including Ghulam Nabi Azad and Kaabil Sibal, on several occasions defied the party’s stand.
Who is part of the G-23 group?
The group’s original members were- Ghulam Nabi Azad, Kapil Sibal, Shashi Tharoor, Manish Tiwari, Anand Sharma, PJ Kurien, Renuka Chaudhary, Milind Deora, Mukul Wasnik, Jitin Prasada, Bhupendra Singh Hooda, Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, M Veerappa Moily, Prithviraj Chavan, Ajay Singh, Raj Babbar, Arvind Singh Lovely, Kaul Singh Thakur, Kuldeep Sharma, Yoganand Shastri, Sandeep Dixit and Vivek Tankha. Most of these leaders have been union ministers, chief ministers and the party’s state unit chiefs.
Why are G-23 leaders demanding reforms?
Troubled by several failed demonstrations and defeats that acted as a catalyst in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, many Congress leaders believed that party-level reforms were the need of the hour. Amid the thin base of the oldest party, leaders demanded a democratic system within the national party, as Sonia Gandhi struggled to find a leader after her resignation.
The demands intensified after the 2019 Lok Sabha elections when the then party president Rahul Gandhi lost the party’s ground in Amethi to BJP’s Smriti Irani. His resignation and Sonia Gandhi retaking the leadership role did little to change the fortunes of the party, which continued to lose the assembly elections.