CWC meet: Leaked letter puts Congress seniors on back foot

At the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting on Monday, party leader Rahul Gandhi questioned the timing of the letter
Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi.(HT Photo/Sonu Mehta)
Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi.(HT Photo/Sonu Mehta)
Published on Aug 24, 2020 01:47 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By

A leaked letter seeking major changes in the Congress functioning has turned counterproductive and even offset the temporary upper hand a group of veterans gained after Sonia Gandhi’s meeting with the Rajya Sabha leaders earlier this month.

At the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting on Monday, party leader Rahul Gandhi questioned the timing of the letter and pointed out that it was sent when the party was facing crisis in Rajasthan and more importantly, Sonia Gandhi was unwell.

Also read: At CWC meeting, Congress leaders ask Sonia Gandhi to continue as party chief, criticise letter

According to a top strategist of the Congress, the party high command is livid about the leak of the letter and has even identified the possible brains behind the move.

At the beginning of the CWC meeting, general secretary K C Venugopal, in charge of the organisation, also lashed out at the leaders who wrote the letter. Speaking first in the meeting, he said, “Why was the letter leaked?”

Congress president Sonia Gandhi had cited the letter in the meeting while she asked the CWC to start the process of appointing a new party president and made it clear she will no longer stay as the interim party chief.

The group of veterans, now under attack had a clear upper-hand just two weeks ago when they emerged as team UPA, got united under the pretext of safeguarding former Manmohan Singh’s legacy after Congress MP Rajiv Satav called for an introspection into the second UPA era.

Key ‘Team UPA’ leaders had closed ranks on Saturday and turned the ‘junior versus senior’ fight as an attempt by Rahul Gandhi aides — who felt UPA was responsible for Congress’ falling fortunes — to undermine the legacy of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

UPA ministers Shashi Tharoor, Anand Sharma, Milind Deora, Manish Tewari (among the 23 signatories of the letter to Sonia Gandhi) were vocal on Twitter. UPA minister Anand Sharma — another signatory of the letter — wrote 11 tweets to remind that “honest introspection” is always helpful and “Congressmen must be proud of UPA’s legacy.”

They tried to label the young brigade as critics of Manmohan Singh’s legacy to corner some Team Rahul members. While Sharma cautioned young leaders “No party disowns or discredits it’s legacy. Nobody expects the BJP to be charitable and give us credit but our own should respect and not forget,” Deora invoked Manmohan Singh’s words— history will be kinder to me — to say, “Could he have ever imagined that some from his own party would dismiss his years of service to the nation & seek to destroy his legacy - that, too, in his presence.”

Tewari, who had lashed out at Congres MP Rajiv Satav on Friday, continued his attacks. “BJP was out of power for 10 years. Not once did they ever blame Vajpayee or his government for their then predicaments. In @INCIndia unfortunately some ill–informed would rather take swipes at Dr. Manmohan Singh led UPA govt than fight NDA/BJP. When unity reqd (required) they divide,” he tweeted.

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Monday, January 24, 2022