NEW DELHI: Amid calls for ‘introspection’ by senior party leaders, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on Friday constituted three committees to discuss matters related to economy, foreign affairs and national security, with four of the 23 ‘dissenters’ who had earlier written to her on a need to revamp the party, finding place on the panels.
Among the letter writers, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma, Veerappa Moily and Shashi Tharoor have been included.
Sharma is the chairman of the AICC foreign affairs department and Shashi Tharoor is chief of party’s Professional Congress. Former prime minister Manmohan Singh is part of all the three panels.
While former finance minister P Chidambaram, Mallikarjun Kharge and Digvijaya Singh will be part of the economic affairs committee, Jairam Ramesh will be its convener.
The committee on foreign affairs will have Sharma, Tharoor, Salman Khurshid and Saptagiri Ulaka. The committee on national security will have leader of Azad, Moily, Vincent H Pala and V Vaithilingam.
The panels have been formed at a time when senior leaders are engaged in a war of words over Bihar election results, with some calling for introspection and others questioning their intent.
After the Bihar election results, Chidambaram stressed that the party needed to address issues as it has no organisational presence left on the ground and has been weakened considerably.
Sharma has taken a stand contrary to the party’s on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and criticised the decision to stay away from it.
Sonia in Goa to avoid Delhi’s toxic air
Following advice from her doctors, Congress president Sonia Gandhi flew to Goa on Friday to avoid the pollution in the national capital. She is accompanied by son Rahul Gandhi.
The trip came after doctors advised her to go out of Delhi for some time, keeping in mind her asthmatic condition and chest infection.
She is expected to stay at a south Goa resort. She has been suffering from recurring chest infection and was discharged from hospital on August 2.