Congress panel meets to discuss Bihar election result

Congress leader Randeep Surjewala. File  

A group of senior leaders, part of the Congress Special Committee to assist party president Sonia Gandhi on organisational and operational matters, had a virtual meeting on Tuesday in which they reportedly discussed the performance in the recent Assembly polls in Bihar and the byelections in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Manipur.

The Congress president, however, was not part of the meeting as was reported earlier. There was no official word on what transpired in the internal meeting.

The panel is also supposed to have discussed the future strategy on the farm Acts including submitting two crore signatures to the President.

The committee has six members — A.K. Antony, Ahmed Patel, Ambika Soni, K.C. Venugopal, Mukul Wasnik and Randeep Surjewala — but only four members joined the meeting. While Mr. Patel is hospitalised, Mr. Antony is believed to have missed the meeting because of personal reasons.

Party’s Bihar in-charge Shaktisinh Gohil and Gujarat in-charge Rajeev Satav are reported to have joined in.

The meeting comes at a time when there are rumblings within the Congress over the non-performance in Bihar where it won only 19 of the 70 seats contested.

On Monday, former Law Minister and senior party leader Kapil Sibal had said the Bihar results had proven that voters didn’t see the Congress as a viable alternative to the ruling party and complained that the leadership had not taken the recent drubbing seriously.

Mr. Sibal was strongly rebutted by his party colleagues like Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Lok Sabha leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury for discussing the party’s internal matters in the media.

On Tuesday, former Law Minister Salman Khurshid wrote a Facebook post in defence of the party’s leadership.

“When we do well, admittedly somewhat infrequently they take it for granted. But when we underperform, not even do badly, they are quick to bite their nails. By the looks of it there would be little of the nails left for future disappointments. Is it really a case of bad workmen quarrelling with their tools?” Mr. Khurshid said without naming Mr. Sibal.

“Our real redemption might be found in understanding the mind of the contemporary citizen, moulded by prevailing circumstances and influenced by a self-serving potion of social envy and suspicion, if not hate, fed by the ruling establishment. If the mood of the electorate is resistant to the liberal values we have espoused and cherished, we should be prepared for a long struggle rather than look for short cuts to get back into power,” he said.

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2021 9:01:56 AM |

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