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Cong. G-23: Sonia Gandhi family loyalists attend dissidents’ dinner

G23 is likely to demand removal of a key office bearer in the AICC who is close to Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi, March 16: The surprise unfolded at Congress G-23 group meeting on Wednesday night was the presence of Sonia Gandhi loyalists Shashi Tharoor and Mani Shankar Aiyar. Following the “demoralizing” election debacle and continuing defections, Congress dissident group G-23 met at dinner table at Gulam Nabi Azad residence in Delhi. The group said, “collective and inclusive decision-making” is the only solution to the crisis gripping the party.
The head of the ginger group, Ghulam Nabi Azad, is likely to meet Congress chief Sonia Gandhi soon to carry the brief of the meeting to her and discuss the issues raised by the letter-writers. It is learnt that Sonia reached out to Azad on Wednesday morning. The G-23 leaders held a dinner meeting at the residence of Azad.
However, despite the outreach, the dissidents’ dinner discussions went beyond usual gripes to express a serious concern over the very sustainability of Congress, with many feeling that the party may be heading for an UP-like marginalization in other states unless drastic correctives were taken immediately. The attendees also slammed the recent appointments to carry out the post-debacle reorganization, arguing that the ‘problems” were being asked to find “solutions”. The solutions to the crisis proposed in the CWC meeting on Sunday were termed as inadequate and cosmetic.
G23 is likely to demand a change of a key office bearer in the AICC who is close to Rahul Gandhi but has been in the dissident’s crosshairs. The dissidents, who have stepped up their activities after the Congress decimation in five state polls, issued a statement that stressed the need to strike partnership with likeminded parties.

The dinner guest list included one-time Gandhi family loyalist Mani Shankar Aiyar, apart from Punjab MP Preneet Kaur, wife of ousted ex-CM Amarinder Singh, former Haryana speaker Kuldeep Sharma, Gujarat leader Shankarsinh Vaghela and Punjab veteran Rajinder Kaur Bhattal —in all five former Congress CMs from different states.

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