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Open Defiance Once Again By G23: Can Gandhis Rein In Dissenters?

After receiving drubbing in the recently held five assembly elections, the dissenting group, G-23 within the Congress party, has once again become active. Its member, the Rajya Sabha MP Kapil Sibal fired the first salvo; so did others targeting the Gandhi family — Sonia, Rahul, Priyanka — and their man Friday, KC Venugopal, Congress General Secretary (Organization). The G23 group’s main contention is to have an elected president instead of a nominated one. Seeing the built-up and media coverage, the Congress Working Committee held a Zoom meeting on May 10 with Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot parroting, “How can we hold elections during Covid?” Interestingly, Ghulam Nabi Azad supported Gehlot. So, for now the problem has been laid to rest. Sonia Gandhi will continue as CWC President. According to an insider, they were sure about the outcome of CWC meeting. Now, they will hold secret parleys to mount pressure for an elected president. Among them there is a consensus to project the candidature of Shashi Tharoor for President’s post. Tharoor has a strong CV. The insider is at pain to point out that they are not against the Gandhis per se but want to protect the legacy of Congress so that they can bounce back under new leadership. The question is will the Gandhis listen?