A day after dissenting Congress leaders expressed concern about the crisis in Punjab and the recent resignations of party members, the Congress said on Thursday that it will soon hold a working committee meeting, reported The Hindu.
“Before leaving for Shimla, Congress President Sonia Gandhi had already indicated that a CWC [Congress Working Committee] meeting shall be called very soon and it will happen in the coming days,” Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told The Hindu. Surjewala, however, did not mention a date for the meeting.
On Wednesday, Congress leader Kapil Sibal had raised questions about the party’s leadership, saying that there was no clarity on who was making decisions. The comments came a day after Punjab state unit chief Navjot Singh Sidhu resigned from his post just two months after his appointment.
Sibal had claimed he was speaking on behalf of those Congress leaders who had written to party President Sonia Gandhi in August last year, asking for a complete revamp of the party’s organisation.
Currently, the Congress has no full-time president and Sonia Gandhi acts as the interim party chief.
Sibal had said that the group of 23 leaders, also known as G-23, will continue to ask questions to the party’s leadership. “We are G-23, definitely not Ji Huzoor [yes, sir]-23,” Sibal had added.
He had also said that the dissenting leaders were waiting for a decision from the top leadership of the party regarding election of their president, the Congress Working Committee and the party’s central election committee.
Soon after Sibal’s comments, party leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, who is also part of the G-23, wrote to Gandhi asking for a working committee meeting to discuss the latest exits from the party and the crisis in Punjab.
On Monday, former Goa Chief Minister Luizinho Faleiro had quit the Congress after being a member for 40 years. Last month, former MP and Assam leader Sushmita Dev had also quit the party. Both these leaders have joined the Trinamool Congress.
The Congress in Punjab plunged into a crisis on September 18 when Amarinder Singh stepped down as chief minister of the state following differences with Sidhu. The next day, the Congress named Charanjit Singh Channi the new chief minister of the state.
Singh though has remained firm on his decision and said that he will not stay in the Congress.
Following Sibal’s comments, party workers had staged protests outside his home in Delhi, carrying placards that read “get well soon”. The protestors threw tomatoes and damaged his car. They also shouted slogans such as “Leave the party, come to your senses” and “Rahul Gandhi zindabad [long live Rahul Gandhi]”.
A Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee functionary had told PTI that the workers were hurt by Sibal’s remarks. “They just expressed their disappointment over the remarks,” he had said.
Several Congress leader, mostly from the G-23 group, had backed Sibal after the protest at his house.
Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma had condemned the “hooliganism” and requested interim Congress President Sonia Gandhi to take action against the protestors.
Azad called the protests an instance of “orchestrated hooliganism”.
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor said the incident was “shameful”. He urged the party workers to listen what Sibal has to say, instead of expressing their displeasure by protesting.