New Delhi: A day after suffering a debacle in the Assembly elections held in five states, the Group-23 (G-23) leaders of Congress started assembling at senior party functionary Ghulam Nabi Azad’s residence here on Friday evening.
Senior Congress leaders Kapil Sibal, Manish Tewari and Anand Sharma have reached Azad’s residence, while many more are expected to join the meeting virtually, sources said.
There is simmering tension within the Congress after the poll debacle, and the G-23 leaders are reportedly miffed with the style of functioning of the party leadership.
One prominent leader said that “it is time that the first family of Congress steps aside and paves the way for a new leadership or act in tandem with the party leaders and be available 24×7 for party work, or else there won’t be a revival of the Congress in the country”.
The leaders pointed out that the present set-up is non-performing and it has to be changed as the party is not ‘someone’s fiefdom’ and everyone has a stake in the Congress.
They also suggested that leaders like Sachin Pilot or Manish Tewari should be given charge of the party.
One leader who worked for Rahul Gandhi and is now a rebel within is Pankaj Shankar.
“Accountability needs to fixed for the rejection in recent elections. Failed in your duties, not doing a favour to the Congress party,” Shankar tweeted.
The Congress’ disgruntled group is upset with the party’s performance in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur.
The G-23 group has been sidelined in the party since it raised the issue of reforms in the Congress and demanded election for the top post.
Some G-23 leaders, whom IANS contacted, refused to speak on the day after the results, saying they will formalise a strategy.
The group said that people have lost confidence in Rahul Gandhi, and now Priyanka Gandhi’s team has also failed to perform.
Meanwhile, Congress leader Randeep Surjewala said that the party will analyse the poll debacle.
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor tweeted: “All of us who believe in @INCIndia are hurting from the results of the recent assembly elections. It is time to reaffirm the idea of India that the Congress has stood for and the positive agenda it offers the nation.
“And to reform our organisational leadership in a manner that will re-ignite those ideas and inspire the people. One thing is clear – Change is unavoidable if we need to succeed.”
Rahul Gandhi had said on Thursday that he accepted the people’s verdict, as he congratulated the winning parties.