Spotlight On Gandhis At Congress Post-Mortem: 10 Facts

Sources say, the Congress elections to select a new party chief, scheduled in August-September, may now be advanced by two-three months, in the Congress Working Committee or CWC meet today.

The Gandhi family leading the Congress has come under renewed criticism.

New Delhi: The highest decision-making body of the Congress met this evening to discuss the party's decimation in the latest round of state elections. The party may advance its internal elections amid fresh questions on the continuation of its top leadership.

Following are the top 10 developments in this big story:

  1. The massive rout in the five states in the recently concluded elections has revived searing criticism of the Gandhi family and demands for a leadership change, which may no longer be confined to the "G-23" —the group of 23 "dissenters" who had written to Sonia Gandhi two years ago. The dissenters held a meeting on Friday at the house of senior leader Ghulam Nabi Azad.

  2. The Congress has categorically denied that the Gandhis - party chief Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra - will resign at the meet. Ahead of the meeting, the Jharkhand Congress passed a resolution in support of Sonia and Rahul Gandhi.

  3. Sources say the Congress organisational elections to select a new party chief, scheduled in August-September, is likely to be advanced by two or three months.

  4. Many internally predict yet another futile exercise in the name of "introspection" with the CWC - in which Gandhi "loyalists" easily outnumber "dissenters" - widely expected to steer clear of hard decisions. There are only three members from the "G-23" in the CWC - Anand Sharma, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Mukul Wasnik.

  5. Fifty-seven leaders were invited to the meeting of the Working Committee.  The number is higher than the combined number of MPs and MLAs the party currently has in the five states.

  6. Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, former Defence Minister AK Antony and three others skipped the meeting due to health reasons, sources said.

  7. The Congress has lost Punjab to the AAP, could not wrest Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur from the BJP and the party's tally in politically crucial Uttar Pradesh fell to its lowest.

  8. The party is yet to act on the Ashok Chavan committee report that analysed the reasons for the Congress defeat in Kerala and West Bengal last year. The committee, which was also tasked with recommending reforms, submitted its report in July last but it was never discussed or even shared with the CWC, say sources.  

  9. One of the dissidents, Vivek Tankha, tweeted earlier today, asking the CWC to rebuild the idea of India once again. "Time to think! Not what the party do for you, but what you can do for the party. Appeal to CWC, re build the idea of India once again. We have talent and reach. What we need is a collective endeavour. Let's do it. We can do it."

  10. Rahul Gandhi, who stepped down as Congress president after the party's second straight national election defeat in 2019, does not hold any official post in the party but continues to call the shots. Decisions taken by him and his sister Priyanka Gandhi in states like Punjab and Uttar Pradesh are being blamed for the party's poll disaster.