At Kapil Sibal's dinner, Opposition demands strong leadership in Congress to counter BJP

The occasion turned into another show of G-23 leaders, where for the first time opposition party leaders got together at a dinner table, and demanded changes in Congress leadership.

Published: 10th August 2021 12:34 PM  |   Last Updated: 11th August 2021 08:32 AM   |  A+A-

(From left) Congress leaders Manish Tewari, Kapil Sibal and Ghulam Nabi Azad

(From left) Congress leaders Manish Tewari, Kapil Sibal and Ghulam Nabi Azad. (File photo| PTI)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: At a time when Rahul Gandhi is reaching out to other parties, presence of a galaxy of Opposition leaders at a dinner hosted by Kapil Sibal, one among the G-23 letter writers, is seen as show of strength and clout by the rebel group, nearly a year after they wrote to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi questioning leadership vacuum and organisational elections.    

The dinner, its timing and guest list, is seemingly more about posturing and pressure tactic by the rebel group ahead of a major organisational reshuffle scheduled in the party in the coming weeks, probably post monsoon session.

The letter writers have been pushing for organisational elections and a rehaul to take on the BJP.  

The party has declined to comment officially, but the event has seemingly not gone down well with the leadership, because many of the guests at the dinner have questioned Gandhi’s authority.

A senior party leader said though it was a private event, comments on Gandhi’s and Congress internal affairs could have been avoided.

In August 2020, G-23 had called for organisational elections among other suggestions to revive the party’s electoral fortunes.

“Nothing much has changed in the last year but for electoral debacles in key states. Major points raised by us in the letter continue to remain unanswered. We are calling for Opposition unity while we have failed to set our own house in order,” said a senior party leader, who was among the letter writer group.

Gandhi has been reaching out to Opposition leaders by attending meetings and hosting breakfast meetings. Sibal’s dinner saw the presence of NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and leaders from TRS, YSR Congress, TDP, BJD and SAD. None of them attended Rahul’s breakfast meeting.


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