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Congress Parliamentary Party to meet on May 7 amid questions of lack of poll post-mortem

Congress leader Sonia Gandhi. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

The Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP), headed by Sonia Gandhi, would be meeting virtually on Friday but a section of the party is asking why the leadership has not yet conducted a post-mortem of the Assembly election results.

It is the first time the CPP will meet virtually after the Budget session of Parliament ended on March 25 and will be attended by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and former party chief Rahul Gandhi.

While some prominent members of the Group of 23 dissenters (G-23) like Ghulam Nabi Azad and Kapil Sibal had publicly said the debate on poll performance can wait in the face of a public health emergency, others maintain that the pandemic should not be used to “cover up the leadership’s failure to address organisational issues”.

“It is almost delusional to think that it is business as usual. At least, responsibility should be fixed as to why we lost Kerala and Assam,” an MP said on Thursday.

Several party leaders have questioned the Bengal unit’s decision to ‘boycott’ the swearing in of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday that put the Congress on the same page as the BJP.

“Top Opposition leaders are in touch with each other as the Bengal victory is symbolic of the fight against the BJP and Narendra Modi and Mamata has proved her mettle,” another senior Congress leader told this reporter.

From Mr. Azad calling Ms. Banerjee the “Lioness of the East” to Mr. Sibal referring to her as the modern day Jhansi of Rani to Madhya Pradesh Congress chief Kamal Nath hailing her as the leader of the country, party veterans have clearly thrown their weight behind the Trinamool chief.

Mr. Nath said Ms. Banerjee not only fought against Mr. Modi but also Central agencies the CBI, ED and the Income Tax Department.

In the run up to the Bengal elections, senior member of G-23, Anand Sharma, had also publicly questioned the move to be a part of the alliance that had Indian Secular Front, founded by the cleric of Furfura Sharif Abbas Siddiqui.

There are rumblings within over Kerala and Assam. While a section of party leaders from Assam also questioned the alliance with Badruddin Ajmal’s All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), several local leaders in Kerala complained of being ignored by a leader who is close to Mr. Gandhi.

At the party’s regular press conference, spokespserson Supriya Shrinate didn’t have an answer on when the Congress would get down to doing a post-mortem.

Ms. Shrinate, however, lashed out at the insensitivity of the Ministers and demanded the sacking of External Affairs Minister Jaishankar for blaming previous governments for the collapse of the heath infrastructure.

“The Congress urges Prime Minister Narendra Modi to sack both Jaishankar and Harsh Vardhan as they are making fun of people’s miseries. These two Ministers are bringing disrepute to the country. While the Health Minister is totally missing in action, Jaishankar is acting like a petty troll,” she said.


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Printable version | Jun 16, 2021 11:44:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/congress-parliamentary-party-to-meet-on-may-7-amid-questions-of-lack-of-poll-post-mortem/article34501396.ece

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