Congress G-23 leaders decry ‘status quo’ on issues

After Amarinder Singh’s stepping down as Punjab Chief Minister, the ‘G-23’ leaders say that many in Congress are worried about the future and are looking for adjustments outside the party, as a patch-up with Rahul Gandhi seems unlikely with the former party chief not having taken any step to deal with issues they raised.

Leaders say that since the letter, calling for sweeping reforms in the party, was written in August 2020, there has been no engagement except a meeting in December last year with party interim chief Sonia Gandhi and the “status quo” persists.

A leader, who did not want to be identified, said that is why people like Sushmita Dev are joining the Trinamool Congress and some others are in queue because the Trinamool and the Nationalist Congress Party are “just breakaway groups of the Congress” and thus, options for those who can’t join the BJP due to ideological reasons, despite their lack of pan-India presence.

Those who don’t have problems with the BJP like Jyotiraditya Scindia and Jitin Prasada and few leaders in Maharashtra and elsewhere, join it, the leader added.

The leader also alleged that Rahul Gandhi is not willing to take along party leaders who are not favourites of his team which is running the show from behind the scene. Gandhi has not been meeting those who are not in his good books, so a patch-up is not possible in these circumstances, the leader added.

Attacking the Gandhis’ teams, Amarinder Singh has also pointed that the Gandhi siblings were “quite inexperienced” and “their advisors were clearly misguiding them”.

Some other Congress leaders say that Rahul Gandhi is running the show but without any responsibility and either he should become the party President, or let some other arrangement come into place.

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor has also stressed that the party needs change. “No one has spoken a word against Sonia Gandhi, but she herself is saying she wishes to step down and hence, a new leadership should take over quickly,” he said recently, adding that if Rahul Gandhi wishes to take over, it should happen quickly.

However, there are some leaders like Veerappa Moily, who was one of the signatories to the August letter, but now says that there is no need of G-23 and it doesn’t exist anymore. He said many decisions have been taken and the party is moving forward.