Top Congress Leaders Call For "Introspection" In Letter To Sonia Gandhi

The Congress Working Committee (CWC), the party's top decision-making body, will assemble for an online meeting tomorrow, three weeks after a stormy meeting saw leaders clash over the party's political decline.

A key party meet has been called tomorrow to discuss party's revival.

New Delhi:

As the Congress's top decision-making body meets tomorrow, it will discuss the issues raised in a letter sent by more than 20 top party leaders to Sonia Gandhi, sources said. In the letter, the senior leaders sought discussion with Sonia Gandhi over the leadership issue, referring to the internal crisis in the party.

The Congress Working Committee (CWC), the party's top decision-making body, will assemble for an online meeting tomorrow, three weeks after a stormy meeting saw leaders clash over the party's political decline.

Among those who have signed the letter are members of parliament, former ministers and chief ministers, and members of the CWC. The senior party leaders have said they are unhappy with "uncertainty" and "drift" in the party. The letter calls for an "honest introspection", "collective leadership", and stresses that the "youth are losing confidence" in the party.

The letter called for a "full-time", "effective leadership" that will be "visible" and "active" in the field - reflecting the criticism from a section about the leadership of the Gandhi family. 

It, however, praised the Gandhis and said they will remain an integral part of the "collective leadership".  

The letter also called for elections to pick the members of the Working Committee - the highest decision-making body of the party. 

On Monday, the Congress had rubbished a tweet by Sanjay Jha that said some 100 Congress leaders have written to Sonia Gandhi asking for a change in the political leadership. Mr Jha was sacked as spokesperson of the Congress last month after he publicly criticised the party in the turmoil over Sachin Pilot's revolt, which plunged the Rajasthan government into crisis.

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".

This morning, Mr Jha called out the party spokesperson, Randeep Surjewala, in a tweet for calling him a "BJP stooge". Sources in the party, however, said Mr Jha's latest tweet is an attempt to preempt the meeting tomorrow.

A year ago, a reluctant Sonia Gandhi took charge as the interim president after her son Rahul Gandhi stood firm on his decision to resign as Congress chief after the party's miserable collapse in the Lok Sabha election for the second consecutive time.

Rumblings within the Congress have grown over the last year with a number of leaders - both senior and young - unhappy with the way it is being run and the lack of direction, party sources say.

According to sources, Sonia Gandhi, 73, has made it clear that she does not want to continue especially because of her health. There is a strong chorus within the party from those keen to see Rahul Gandhi return as Congress president and lead the party.