Days after meeting with Ghulam Nabi Azad, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday, 22 March, met with more dissident party leaders of the G-23 grouping.
Deputy Leader of the Congress in the Rajya Sabha, Anand Sharma, and Lok Sabha MP Manish Tewari were among those who met Gandhi at her residence in Delhi on Tuesday, reported news agency PTI, citing sources.
The G-23 members conveyed to Gandhi their disapproval of the party top brass's reliance on a select few for leadership, and pushed for the establishment of a collective decision-making model, The Indian Express reported, quoting sources.
The G-23 is a grouping of senior Congress leaders who have demanded sweeping organisational changes, a "full-time and visible leadership," and collective decision-making in the party.
Ghulam Nabi Azad's Meeting With Sonia & the G-23's Renewed Dissent
On 18 March, G-23 leader Ghulam Nabi Azad had met Sonia Gandhi. "She is Congress President, we are leaders of the party, the feedback which is given to restructure organisation is not meant for public... there is no question on the leadership, when Mrs Gandhi offered (to step back), we all rejected it," Azad had been quoted as saying after the interaction.
This comes after the G-23 leaders and some others met on 16 March to deliberate on the "demoralising outcome" of the recently-held Assembly elections in 5 states, wherein the Congress' hold suffered a significant decline.
"We believe that the only way to move forward is for the Congress to adopt the model of collective and inclusive leadership and decision making at all levels," the leaders, which included Shashi Tharoor, Kapil Sibal, Anand Sharma, Manish Tewari, Bhupinder Hooda, and Prithviraj Chavan, said in a statement after the meeting.
The disaffection of this section of party leaders has stirred up again since a Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting on 13 March, in which it was decided that Sonia Gandhi would continue as interim Congress president until elections for the post are conducted in August this year.