Sonia set to hold discussions with Congress top brass, including 'rebels'


New Delhi: Congress president Sonia Gandhi is set to meet face-to-face this weekend some of the "rebels" who had written to her seeking an overhaul of the party organisation.

Sources said Gandhi has fixed a series of meetings on December 19 and 20 with Congress leaders to decide on key issues concerning the party. These include the party's strategy on the government not convening the winter session of Parliament, finalising alliances and its strategy in the poll-bound states of Assam, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, the farmers' agitation and the holding of the organisational elections.

During these deliberations over the weekend, she will also meet some of the prominent members of the "letter-writers' group", who had written to her demanding an overhaul of the party.

Among them are Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad and the deputy leader of the party in the Upper House, Anand Sharma.

There are talks that the Congress is likely to hold the AICC session in January to elect a new president, for which the party leadership will discuss and chalk out the plans.

Former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath, who lost power in the state after his bete noire Jyotiraditya Scindia quit the party and joined the BJP along with several MLAs, is also slated to meet the Congress president and discuss the fallout of the recently-concluded bypolls in the state, in which the Congress failed to make a mark.

This is the first time that Gandhi will be meeting Congress leaders face-to-face, months after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. She has been holding virtual meetings ever since, including the crucial CWC meet in which party leaders discussed the "letter" by the group of 23 leaders demanding a change in the leadership and an overhaul of the party's organisational structure.

Twenty-three senior leaders of the party had written to Gandhi in August.

The sources said the Congress chief will also hold consultations with senior party leaders on the strategy to be adopted in the wake of the government not convening the winter session of Parliament.

Gandhi will also hold deliberations with party leaders from the poll-bound states of Assam, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu and take a call on finalising the electoral alliances in these states.

The Congress already has an alliance with the DMK in Tamil Nadu and is likely to go in favour of a tie-up with the Left parties in West Bengal.

The Congress leadership will also discuss the fallout of the farmers' agitation and the strategy to be adopted by the party in this regard, the sources said. The Congress has been supporting the farmers' agitation and demanding a repeal of three recent farm laws.

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