‘No Dissidence’: Congress After Sonia Gandhi’s Meet With ‘Rebels’

According to Pawan Bansal, Rahul said at the meeting he is “willing to work for the party as all of you desire”.

Updated
India
2 min read
File image of Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
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There is no dissidence in Congress, and all are committed to work unitedly to energise the party, Congress leader Pawan Bansal said after a party strategy meet was held on Saturday, 19 December.

Discussions were held on a positive note at the Congress strategy meeting, with leaders talking about how to strengthen the party at all levels, Bansal added.

“Sonia Gandhi said we are all one big family and should work to strengthen the party.”
Pawan Bansal, as quoted by PTI

The interim Congress president met with senior party leaders, including the so-called 'rebels', to finalise the future course of action ahead of the much-awaited organisational elections, including the appointment of the new party president. The meeting comes nearly four months after 23 top Congress leaders wrote to Sonia, seeking the party's revival and a more 'active' and 'visible' leadership.

Among those who were at 10 Janpath for the meeting included party leaders Ashok Gehlot, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma, BS Hooda, Ambika Soni and P Chidambaram. Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi were also present.

'Willing to Work for Party As All Desire': Rahul Gandhi

According to Bansal, Rahul Gandhi said at the meeting that he is "willing to work for the party as all of you desire", as he agreed for the need to have "better communication" as well as the need to strengthen the party at the boot level, NDTV reported.

According to the NDTV report, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra spoke of rebuilding the organisation and "taking care of grassroot workers".

“Nobody was critical of Rahul Gandhi, everybody supported him. The election process has been set in motion.”
Congress leader Pawan Bansal, as quoted by ANI 

"This was the first meeting on how to strengthen the party... Conclave on the lines of Shimla, Panchmarhi would happen," party leader Prithviraj Chavan was quoted as saying.

“There is no doubt in the leadership. Everyone trusts Sonia Gandhi’s and Rahul Gandhi’s leadership. Congress stands united. In today’s meeting, we discussed the strategies to resolve challenges and will continue to do so.”
Congress leader Harish Rawat, as quoted by ANI

Among others present at the meeting were AK Antony and former Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath who, according to reports, played a key role in coordinating the talks.

The meeting comes close on the heels of Congress’ below par performance in the Kerala local body polls as well as the Bihar elections.

Need for Ahmed Patel’s Replacement

Earlier, sources had told The Quint that a question before the leadership is also about finding a replacement for Ahmed Patel, who passed away recently.

While Patel’s position of treasurer has been filled by Pawan Kumar Bansal, the party would still need a full-time crisis manager, a role that Patel played for several years.

Prior to Patel, others who played a similar role include RK Dhawan, Jitendra Prasad and Bhuvnesh Chaturvedi during Narasimha Rao’s time.

(With inputs from PTI, ANI and NDTV.)

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