Cong dissenters take a hard stance as party goes soft (Ld)


Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma on Monday launched a broadside against the party’s tie-up with the Indian Secular Front (ISF) in West Bengal, saying that it should have been discussed and approved by the Congress Working Committee (CWC).

But other senior Congress leaders feel that the timing of the criticism from the group of dissenters is not correct at a time when the party is set to contest Assembly polls in five states

Meanwhile, the party on Monday appointed Prithviraj Chavan as the chairman of the Assam Screening Committee.

Another dissenting leader, Sandeep Dikshit, defended the dissenters and said they are fighting for the party, but the “psycophants will not understand that issue”.

The Congress has taken a middle path referring to the dissenting leaders as respected but advised them to work for elections.

The dissenters have been saying that they are kept out from the consultation process but now the Congress is trying to address their grievances by keeping them in the loop for election strategising.

In solidarity with the former Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad, the dissenters, including Kapil Sibal, Raj Babbar and Manish Tewari, were in Jammu on February 27 where they chose to attack the party, saying they are saddened by the weakening of the party structure.

The dissenters are unhappy over the rise of people close to Rahul Gandhi, including K.C. Venugopal and Randeep Singh Surjewala.

The overlooking of Anand Sharma for the post of Leader of Opposition and denying another Rajya Sabha term to Azad has irked them while leaders like Manish Tewari and Sandeep Dikshit are also feeling sidelined in the party set up.

Sources say the internal war is far from over as Rahul Gandhi is placing people close to him in key posts, ofetn overlooking the seniors.