Gandhis Reach Out to Dissenters, Rahul Meets Hooda

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Rahul Gandhi and Bhupinder Singh Hooda. — File photos 

NEW DELHI — Former Haryana Chief Minister and one of the dissidents, Bhupinder Singh Hooda met Rahul Gandhi on Thursday at Tughlak lane. The meeting lasted for about 40 minutes and is seen as a reach out gesture from the party to the members of G-23.

The former CM, a popular leader in Haryana, is one of the key figures in the G-23 and has been one of the regular attendees of the meetings, but the meeting with Rahul Gandhi is said be for grievance redressal of the group and particularly for Hooda who is likely to be appointed as state president of the Haryana Congress, a key demand of his supporters.

The G-23 met on Wednesday and issued a statement as the group wants that Congress organisation should be revamped and there should be accountability of the people involved in election process. It said, “We believe that the only way forward for the Congress is to adopt the model of collective and inclusive leadership and decision making at all levels… in order to oppose the BJP, it is necessary to strengthen the Congress party. We demand that the Congress party initiate a dialogue with like-minded forces to create a platform to pave way for a credible alternative in 2024.”

The Congress president on Tuesday removed state chiefs of five states and after which loyalists started targeting the dissenters.

But on Wednesday, Sonia Gandhi again appointed Ajay Maken to find out the reasons for poll losses in Punjab much to the discomfort of the dissenters and Punjab MPs who had criticised Maken, Sunil Jakhar and Navjot Singh Sidhu during a meeting with her.

On Sunday, the Congress Working Committee (CWC) reposed faith in interim party chief Sonia Gandhi after its marathon meeting to discuss the outcome of the Assembly polls. She was also authorised to undertake “necessary and comprehensive” organisational changes.

“The CWC unanimously reaffirms its faith in the leadership of Sonia Gandhi and requests the Congress President to lead from the front, address the organisational weaknesses, effect necessary and comprehensive organisational changes in order to take on the political challenges,” it said. — IANS

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