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Sonia Gandhi to meet party leaders, including those who wrote letter of dissent, Saturday

The meeting will take place at Sonia Gandhi’s official residence in New Delhi, and it comes in the backdrop of the party receiving a series of drubbings in recent elections.

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New Delhi: Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi will be holding a meeting with some senior leaders of the party on 19 December, ThePrint has learnt.

The meeting will be held at her residence at 10, Janpath in New Delhi, and will include some of the signatories to the controversial letter written in August this year by 23 party leaders, demanding a “full and active leadership”. 

This will be Gandhi’s first in-person meeting since returning from Goa where she had gone for over two weeks in November-end.

In the absence of her former political secretary, Ahmed Patel, who had kept the so-called ‘G-23’ leaders engaged and who passed away when she was in Goa, the interim party president seems to have decided to have a direct dialogue with senior party functionaries about the way ahead for the Congress, which has received a series of drubbings in recent elections, including in Bihar, Hyderabad, and Assam.

The meeting comes a little over a week after Kamal Nath, former Madhya Pradesh CM and veteran party leader, met Gandhi at her residence. Nath is said to have played the mediator between the 23 leaders and Gandhi. 

A Congress source said: “She (Gandhi) hasn’t really met many leaders this year. Most of her meetings have been virtual, so she has decided to now make a more active approach to meet (party) leaders.”

However, this would not be a meeting between all 23 leaders, but only a section of them. 

“The idea isn’t to meet the 23 leaders as a group. She is only meeting a few leaders to discuss party affairs. Some of these leaders also happen to be letter signatories,” the source added.

‘Hope she will not speak as Rahul Gandhi’s mother’

The meeting also holds significance given that the Congress is planning to hold its internal polls for the post of party president early next year. 

“We don’t know if anything will come out of the talks. The hope is that she will speak to the leaders as a party president, and not as Rahul Gandhi’s mother,” said one of the signatories to the letter, who didn’t want to be named.

The Central Election Authority formulated by Gandhi in September is responsible for conducting the polls to elect the Congress president.

Also read: Discontent, dissent & defiance in Congress as Gandhi family begins to lose grip on party


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