New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: In what could be a clear message to those who challenged her leadership, Congress Interim President Sonia Gandhi on Thursday formed a five-member panel in Rajya Sabha including her confidants and elevating two young MPs to senior positions in Lok Sabha for “better coordination and functioning” in the upcoming Monsoon Session.

Sending a strong message to dissenters, the Congress has formed a five-member panel for Rajya Sabha which includes Ahmed Patel, KC Venugopal, Jairam Ramesh, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Anand Sharma. The party has also appointed Gaurav Gogoi as deputy leader and Ravneet Bittu as whip in the Lok Sabha, ignoring party veterans Shashi Tharoor and Manish Tiwari.

Notably, Tharoor and Tiwari, along with Azad and Sharma, were part of the 23-member group in the Congress that wrote a letter and demanded “an overhaul of the party and a new full-time and visible party president”, challenging Sonia Gandhi’s position.

Congress at historic low, it’s our duty to work in party’s interest

Meanwhile, dissent leaders – Kapil Sibal and Shashi Tharoor – have claimed that the Congress is at historic low and it’s the duty of everyone to work in party’s interest. Sibal also believes that the Congress needs “leadership [that is] 24x7”, noting that “the election results of 2014 and 2019 reflect that”.

“Our intent is to revive the party. We want to be partners in its revival. That is our commitment to the party constitution and the Congress legacy, and the absolute conviction that the Congress needs others to rally around, to oppose a government which has destroyed the very foundations on which the Indian Republic is built,” Kapil Sibal was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.   

Shashi Tharoor, on the other hand, has said that it is the duty of all to work together in the interest of the party once the party chief has stated that the matter is "behind us".

"I've been silent for 4 days on recent events in @INCIndia because once the Congress President says the issue is behind us, it is the duty of all of us to work together constructively in the interests of the Party," Tharoor tweeted.  

What the dissenters wrote?

In their letter, the dissenters suggested that “uncertainty over leadership has weakened the Congress and demoralised its workers”, appealing the party to take the initiative for the formation of a “national coalition of democratic and secular forces against the Centre”.

"We have witnessed a steady decline of the Congress Party reflected in successive electoral verdicts in States and General Elections in 2014 and 2019. Reasons are manifold and need to be immediately identified. Otherwise, the Congress Party will find itself marginalized, both in the States, which is already apparent, as well as at the national level," the leaders said in their letter, as accessed by NDTV.  

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma