Srinagar March 01 : The revolt within the Congress came open on Saturday when several top leaders of the party stated that they were seeing the Congress getting weaker.
“The truth is that we see the Congress party getting weak. That is why we have gathered here. We had gathered together earlier too and we have to strengthen the party together,” senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal said at a ‘Shanti Sammelan’ in Jammu.
He was joined by veteran leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma, former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Raj Babbar and Vivek Tankha at the event which was organized by the Gandhi Global Family foundation, a non-government organisation that has Ghulam Nabi Azad as the president. The NGO has been formed by the Congress.
SP Verma from Jammu is it’s vice president. He also has a Congress background. In 2012, Verma was awarded with Padma Shree for peace work.
The event was organized months after G-23 leaders of the Congress shot a letter to party high command seeking introspection.
In August last, the 23 leaders had written about revamping the party and pointed to the “sense of drift” in the party post the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
The show of strength by these leaders in Jammu on Saturday wanted to convey a message that they were united and Congress leadership should revamp the party or they were ready to form their own party, sources said.
When it was his turn, Azad took on Rahul Gandhi’s “North-South” remark, which has led to a controversy.
“Be it Jammu or Kashmir or Ladakh, we respect all religions, people and castes. We equally respect everyone, that is our strength and we will continue with this,” Azad said.
Rahul Gandhi recently made comments in Kerala that while people in North India did politics over superficial things, politics in South India was over “issues”.
His comments did not go well within several senior party leaders.
A Congress leader who is confidante of Azad said senior Congress leaders wanted to send a message to party’s leadership there is a need for introspection and they showed unity in Jammu and Kashmir.
“This is a clear message, if leadership fails to make corrective measures, then they can part ways with Congress and form their own party,” the leader told news agency Kashmir Indepth News Service (KINS).
The leader said there is unease among various leaders over the recent decisions including not offering a fresh Rajya Sabha term for Azad and bypassing Anand Sharma the current deputy leader in the Upper House for the post as the leader of the Opposition.
The G-23 leaders have also demanded revamping the party and make it more representative at all levels: from the block and district level to the Congress Working Committee (CWC), the highest decision-making body, and the Central Election Committee, the panel that chooses party candidates for Assembly and Lok Sabha polls.
The Gandhi Global Family, which organized the event, is a United Nations Department of Global Communications accredited Peace NGO which propagates the ideologies of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. & Nelson Mandela among youth.
It engages youth to participate in activities like debates, quiz, SDGs, leadership programs, adventure trips, mini democratic sessions in State Assemblies and the Parliament.
The NGO undertakes a wide range of social awareness programs in collaboration with the United Nations. One such program that is under inception involves 17 schools in each State capital city of the country. The project aims at spreading the messages of United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) among students community of the country. In addition, the corner stone of such program is to enable the younger generation to join hands towards community welfare and thereby promoting global peace. (KINS)