Congress 'Dissenters' Write To Sonia Gandhi? Party Slams Sanjay Jha Claim

Suspended leader Sanjay Jha, in a tweet, has claimed that some 100 Congress leaders have written to Sonia Gandhi asking for a change in the political leadership.

Sanjay Jha was sacked as spokesperson of the Congress last month.

Highlights

  • Sanjay Jha's claim in a tweet promptly rubbished by the party
  • Congress alleged "non-existent letter" was attempt to divert attention
  • Sanjay Jha was sacked as spokesperson of the Congress last month
New Delhi:

Some 100 Congress leaders have written to Sonia Gandhi asking for a change in the political leadership and transparent elections in the party, suspended leader Sanjay Jha claimed today in a tweet that was promptly rubbished by the party. The Congress alleged that the "non-existent letter" was an attempt to divert attention from the Facebook controversy and was being circulated by "BJP stooges".

Sanjay Jha was sacked as spokesperson of the Congress last month after he publicly criticised the party in the turmoil over Sachin Pilot's revolt.

"It is estimated that around 100 Congress leaders (including MPs), distressed at the state of affairs within the party, have written a letter to Mrs Sonia Gandhi, Congress President, asking for change in political leadership and transparent elections in CWC. Watch this space," Sanjay Jha tweeted this morning.

The Congress denied it in its briefing. "There is no such letter written by Congress members or MPs and the individual in question is doing this at the behest of the BJP to deflect the issue from BJP and its linkage with Facebook," Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala retorted. He also put out a tweet.

A political row has erupted over a Wall Street Journal report that said that Facebook deliberately overlooks hate speech and objectionable content from BJP leaders and workers.

Though the Congress discredited Mr Jha's tweet, a small but significant group within the party – including former ministers and MPs – says it is in the process of requesting an appointment with Sonia Gandhi to discuss "matters of concern". The tweet, these leaders say, is to preempt that meeting.

The group reportedly wants Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi to come clean on the issue of leadership and whether they are firm about not leading the party in its trying times. The group has been rattled about the narrative of Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra "resolving" the Rajasthan power struggle at a time the Congress should be addressing the leadership question.

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Though the Rajasthan revolt is under the lid for now, with Sachin Pilot patching-up with the Gandhis, many believe it is temporary. The Pilot episode has added to the discomfiture of many within the party months after Jyotiraditya Scindia's crossover to the BJP in March, which led to the Congress losing power in Madhya Pradesh.

In recent weeks, several Congress leaders have been vocal about the need for elections, which have often been just a formality for a party that has mostly been led by members of the Nehru-Gandhi family in its 135-year history.

Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi, during an online media briefing, said Sonia Gandhi would remain president until "a proper procedure is implemented".

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor recently said the Congress must speed up its search for a full-term president "to arrest the growing public perception that the party is adrift and rudderless".