A group of “rebels” in Congress, who have written a letter pointing out a leadership drift and calling for major organizational changes, may finally meet with Sonia Gandhi. Former Madhya Pradesh Prime Minister Kamal Nath was the key to preparing the meeting, according to sources.
23 leaders had signed the letter, but not all will attend the meeting. It is believed that a core group of five or six executives is likely to have the broader concerns.
The meeting will take place on Saturday, sources say, to reconcile. It is not clear whether Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will be present.
However, Congress claims it is not just a meeting between Sonia Gandhi and the rebels. others who did not sign the letter will also be present.
Kamal Nath, the sources said, supported the cause of so-called dissident leaders, who expressed concern about the party’s decline and called for “active and present leadership” in a letter in August. It was a staggering act of defiance by a group that included most of the Party’s defenders and spokesmen.
Kamal Nath, who lost power in Madhya Pradesh in March after senior leader Jyotiraditya Scindia left the BJP, played a role in persuading the Gandhis to meet the letter writers. So far he had kept his distance from those who think differently.
Shortly after the letter bomb fell, some of the “dissidents”, such as Ghulam Nabi Azad, were cursed while trying to meet Sonia Gandhi. Instead, Mr. Azad and another letter writer, Mukul Wasnik, faced a virtual ambush at an online convention meeting in the presence of the Gandhi.
Signs of a thaw have emerged as Congress attempts to elect a new boss in the New Year. 74-year-old Sonia Gandhi has been the interim party president since her son Rahul Gandhi left Congress last year because of his second defeat in the national elections in a row.
Since then, the party has lost two key states, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh, and barely clung to Rajasthan, where the rebellious Sachin pilot stopped by after meeting the Gandhis. Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot recently hinted that the BJP’s threat to overthrow his government with the help of congressional rebels has not gone away.
A rebellion threatened to flare up again last month after the poor performance of Congress in the Bihar elections. Kapil Sibal, one of the letter writers, went public with a sharp nudge on the leadership and said, “The time for introspection is over”. After him, other party leaders like P Chidambaram also called for a “comprehensive review” and suggested that the party should strengthen its core.