Calm down, G23 leaders tell Azad

New Delhi: Some members of the Congress’ G-23 change-seekers group like Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Anand Sharma and Prithviraj Chauhan met former Congress veteran Ghulam Nabi Azad here on Tuesday evening. Azad had recently resigned from the party.

Speaking to this newspaper, Chauhan said that it was just a “courtesy call”. He added: “I had come to Delhi, so I went to meet Mr Azad. He was a part of the letter writers like us, so we wanted to know why he quit the party without keeping us in the loop?” Hooda, a former Haryana chief minister, also termed the meeting as a courtesy call.

In the last couple of days, it has become a free for all between Azad and his former party. Some reports suggest that at the meeting with Azad, the three leaders suggested that there should be less acrimony between him and his former party.

Azad will, meanwhile, hold a public meeting at 11 am on Sunday at Sainik Colony in Jammu. This will be his first meeting since he snapped his nearly 50-year-long association with the Congress. This meeting will coincide with the Halla Bol rally led by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to be held in the national capital on the same day.

In his five-page resignation letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Azad had targeted the party leadership, particularly Rahul Gandhi, over the way the party has been run in the past nearly nine years. He had claimed that it was Rahul Gandhi who was in command and that most of the key decisions were taken by his PAs and security guards.

The G-23 was a name given to a group of Congressmen who had written a letter to Sonia Gandhi in August 2020 demanding sweeping changes in the working of the party. They wanted a complete overhaul of the Congress and a “clear, full-time and visible leadership”.

Kapil Sibal, a prominent and vocal face of the group, left the party in May this year. Last year Jitin Prasada, who was a part of the group, had left the party. Speculation is now rife that more members of the group may leave the party as they are not being heard out and are being sidelined. In the last one year, almost 12 leaders of consequence have left the party, mostly complaining about the functioning of the Congress.

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