Clash at Sonia Gandhi meet with Rajya Sabha MPs exposes Cong’s generational rift

Clash at Sonia Gandhi meet with Rajya Sabha MPs exposes Cong’s generational rift

NEW DELHI: The generational divide in Congress and differences over the party’s political slide bared itself when the demand by a senior member for introspection evoked sharp retort from a young member, seen as a

Rahul loyalist

, that the party was suffering for shortcomings during UPA-II and a review should date back to the post-2009 phase.

The clash marred the meeting of

Rajya Sabha

MPs with Congress president

Sonia Gandhi

on Thursday, which was also attended by former PM

Manmohan Singh

and a string of UPA luminaries like

A K Antony

, Ghulam Nabi Azad, P Chidambaram, Anand Sharma and Kapil Sibal among others.

As the meeting got under way, veterans flagged the need for a reality check on the party’s political strategy and organisational weaknesses. In the course of the discussion, MPs PL Punia, Ripun Bora and Chhaya Verma raised the demand that Rahul Gandhi be made the party chief again.

According to sources, a clutch of seniors said the Modi government had badly bungled on critical issues like Corona pandemic, Chinese aggression and economy. Yet, they said, Congress was not being heard by people and it was still BJP that was finding popular

resonance

.

This was despite the hard work being put in by Rahul Gandhi and others, a participant added. While Chidambaram said the party lacked organisation at district and block level, senior lawyer Kapil Sibal impressed upon the need for “introspection from top to bottom” on why it was happening. This elicited a sharp riposte from new RS entrant and Rahul Gandhi aide

Rajeev Satav

, who said any introspection would have to go back to years when the party was in office. He said it was following the government being formed in 2009 that Congress fortunes nosedived in 2014 when it lost. As if pointing towards UPA-era ministers, he said review of their performance was also in order. He added if a timely introspection was done during UPA-II, Congress would not have been reduced to 44 seats in 2014. A Congress MP claimed that former PM Singh was cut up over the aggressive words used against UPA. Full report on www.toi.in

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