Congress bigwigs figure on party panels to evaluate assembly polls results, Covid-19 relief
Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday formed two key committees — to look into the assembly election results and coordinate the party’s Covid-19 relief activities — that also underlined the efforts to woo key members of the G-23 group of letter writers who demanded sweeping changes in the organization last year, HT has learnt.
The panel to “evaluate the results of recently-concluded assembly elections” includes Ashok Chavan, Salman Khurshid, Manish Tewari, Vincent Pala and Jothi Mani. The group, chaired by Chavan, has been asked to submit its report within two weeks.
The other panel is headed by former Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, one of the most prominent faces of the G23. The 13-member body also includes Ambika Soni, Mukul Wasnik, Pawan Bansal, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, KC Venugopal, Jairam Ramesh, Randeep Surjewala, Manish Chatrath, Ajoy Kumar, Pawan Khera, Gurdeep Singh Sappal and the Indian Youth Congress president BV Srinivas who has been playing a stellar role in the relief operations.
While these two committees have a clear task cut out for them, party leaders were quick to point out the significance of the presence of Azad and Tewari in these all-important panels. A senior leader added that this is the first time after Azad retired from the Rajya Sabha as the Leader of Opposition, the party has formally appointed him for an assignment, that too, a crucial job given the surge of the Covid-19 pandemic in India. The leader added that in the CWC meeting on April 17, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had suggested Azad should be involved in matters related to the pandemic.
Tewari, who had campaigned for the party in the recently-concluded assembly polls, has also found a position for another key work. The presence of Azad, Tewari and Mukul Wasnik (he was given assembly election duty) also underlines the Congress’ efforts to bring back as many members of the G23 as possible. Some prominent collaborators of that letter have, however, remained out of favour.
While the plan to set up a panel to oversee relief operations were discussed in the CPP meeting last week, Sonia Gandhi announced in the CWC on Monday that a committee would be formed to analyse the election results. The Congress failed to win Assam, Kerala and Puducherry and drew a blank in West Bengal.