Two members of G-23 were on Tuesday included in Congress’s three groups formed to strategise for upcoming Assembly polls and 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
Group of 23, or G-23, members have been seeking an organisational overhaul in the Congress since 2020. They have often criticised the party leadership and sought internal elections.
The Congress has formed three groups after Chintan Shivir, or introspection meeting – the Political Affairs Group, Task Force 2024 and Central Planning Group.
G-23 leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Anand Sharma were included in the Political Affairs Group led by party chief Sonia Gandhi, Congress said on Tuesday. The other members of this group include Rahul Gandhi, KC Venugopal, Mallikarjun Kharge, Ambika Soni, Digvijaya Singh and Jitendra Singh.
The Task Force-2024 has eight members including Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, KC Venugopal, P Chidambaram, Mukul Wasnik, Jairam Ramesh, Ajay Maken, Sunil Kanugolu and Randeep Singh Surjewala.
“Each member of the Task Force shall be assigned specific tasks related to organisation, communications and media, outreach, finance and election management,” the statement said. “They shall have designated teams which will be notified subsequently.”
Kanugolu is a former associate of political strategist Prashant Kishor, who had refused to be a part of the Congress’ Empowered Action Group 2024 last month. The group is meant to address Congress’s political challenges ahead of the 2024 General Assembly elections.
The Central Planning Group will coordinate the party’s “Bharat Jodo Yatra” that will be held on October 2, the birthday of freedom fighter Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.
Congress leaders have said that the 3,500-km march from Kanyakumari to Kashmir is meant to combat polarisation and protect the Constitution, democracy and various institutions of the country, reported NDTV.
The Central Planning Group is led by KC Venugopal and its members are Digvijaya Singh, Sachin Pilot, Shashi Tharoor, Ravneet Singh Bittu, KJ George, Jothi Mani, Pradyut Bordoloi, Jitu Patwari and Saleem Ahmed.
All members of the task force and all heads of the Congress’ frontal organisations will be part of the central group, the statement added.
The three-day introspection meeting was held in Rajasthan’s Udaipur from May 13 to May 15 as part of Congress’ preparation for the next round of Assembly and the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
The meeting was held in the backdrop of the party’s dismal performance in the 2022 Assembly polls in five states – Goa, Manipur, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh. It had lost Punjab to the Aam Aadmi Party and failed to wrest power from the Bharatiya Janata Party in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur.
Days before the Chintan Shivir, Congress President Sonia Gandhi had said that the party needs self-criticism but not in a manner that erodes morale and creates an atmosphere of “gloom and doom”.