Cong puts up united face after Saturday meet of Sonia Gandhi

New Delhi, Dec 24 : The Congress showed a united face during the march to Rashtrapati Bhavan on Saturday to give a memorandum to President Kovind with two crore signatures against the new farm laws. Senior leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury accompanied Rahul Gandhi.

The show of solidarity came after Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s Saturday meeting in which she met the dissenting leaders over party reforms. The ice-breaker meeting yielded results and Ghulam Nabi Azad, who was considered the prime mover of the letter written by 23 leaders to Sonia Gandhi earlier this year, flanked Rahul during the protest. In response Rahul Gandhi waited for Azad to arrive before speaking to the media.

Azad also made a good picture during the submission of the memorandum to the President and was in the same frame with Rahul Gandhi.

The Saturday meeting was termed an ice-breaker by the dissenting group but they had stuck to their demand for reforms in the party, sources in the group said. However, Congress leaders said that all is well and the party will now move forward with “Chintan Shivirs”.

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But the question still remains who will be the next president of the party as the process of election is on within the Congress. The dissidents say that they may not challenge Rahul Gandhi but any proxy will be challenged in the elections. The Congress knows that the Gandhis are the uniting force within the party but are wary of electoral defeats. The fight is not with Rahul Gandhi but the real problem are the proxies, said a leader.

Sonia Gandhi did not invite Randeep Singh Surjewala, KC Venugopal and Rajiv Satav, perceived to be close to Rahul Gandhi and who had been offensive during the CWC meeting, post the letter controversy.

After the meeting Pawan Bansal, who holds interim charge as treasurer, said “No one has a problem with Rahul Gandhi, and this is not just for today. Everybody said that we need Rahul Gandhi’s leadership. We must not fall into the trap of other people who are trying to distort the party’s agenda.”

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Prithviraj Chavan, one of the signatories to the G23 letter, said after the meeting: “Nineteen leaders of the Congress met and discussed means to strengthen the party. A clear future course is on the anvil.”

“It is the first of such meetings. More meetings will take place. ‘Chintan Shivirs’ on the lines of the Shimla and Pachmarhi ones will be organised.”

Bansal termed the meeting “very constructive” with everyone pitching in with suggestions “that were all taken note of”. He said the meeting “energised the party to fight the forces” that are “fighting the idea of India and Congress”. He said the Congress is determined to fight all such forces.

Sources said it was a “freewheeling discussion and whatever anyone had to say they said.”

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.

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