In letter to Sonia, dissenters suggested 11-points for Congress' revival
In the letter to President Sonia Gandhi, 23 Congress leaders outlined 11 points for the revival of the party, adding that honest introspection is the first step to take on ruling BJP. The letter, parts of which were out in the media last Sunday, was sent earlier this month, and it sparked Congress' latest crisis. Despite the furor, no substantial step was taken.
At the outset, the Congress leaders wrote they have spent most parts of their lives with the party, hence, would want the organization to step up when India is facing its "gravest crisis." The signatories mentioned unemployment, farmer distress, a stand-off with China, to slam BJP, and also told Congress that it has to take up the role of active opposition.
Moving from the saffron party, the letter reminded that as the party that led India's freedom movement, laid the foundation for modern India, Congress must "take an informed position on Foreign Policy, Defense, and National Security matters." Thereafter, the letter lamented on the steady decline of Congress "reflected in successive electoral verdicts in States and General Elections in 2014 and 2019."
Further, the letter pointed out that in the last two general elections, India added an overwhelming number — 18.7 crore — of first-time voters and most of them chose BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Separately, while BJP's vote share swelled (from 7.84 crore in 2009 to 17.6 crore in 2014 and 22.9 crore in 2019), Congress lost ground, the letter added.
The dissenters wrote that though 14 months have passed since the 2019 verdict, Congress didn't undertake an "honest introspection." "In order to stem the decline, we have taken upon ourselves to be open and frank so that the Congress Party's future, which presently is at stake, is not jeopardized any further," the letter added. They also said Congress doesn't nurture leadership at the state and national levels anymore.
Thereafter, the ginger group listed 11 point-action-plan for Congress' revival. They called for "full time and effective leadership active in the field and visible, and available at AICC and PCC Headquarters." The leaders wanted an urgent constitution of the Central Parliamentary Board (CPB) to aid in decision-making. They wanted PCCs and district committees to be more inclusive; transparent polls for block, PCC, and AICC members.
Moreover, they suggested that chief of District Congress Committees must be appointed from state capital; a nationwide leadership drive must be organized; the Central Election Committee must be reconstituted; CWC members must be elected as per Congress' constitution, and an independent election authority must be formed. They also wanted the committee, empanelling Parliament and Assembly elections, to have experienced members. Congress should focus on the "institutional leadership mechanism," for its resurrection, they added.
To recall, the letter did create a flutter in Congress, with Sonia telling her aides she wants to resign. However, during the CWC meeting earlier this week, the signatories were questioned about their intentions and berated for pointing fingers at the top-brass, rather than working for Congress. After a marathon meeting, it was decided Sonia should remain at the helm for another six months.