In a show of strength, the dissident ‘Group of 23’ or G23 leaders of the Congress party are assembling in Jammu on Saturday and are expected to make a statement against the party’s top leadership.
According to the reports, senior Congress leader and former Rajya Sabha MP Ghulam Nabi Azad is scheduled to make a three-day visit to Jammu on Saturday. The senior leaders of the party, who had voiced their opinion against the party’s leadership just a few months back, are joining Azad at Jammu and hold a joint press conference to speak on the issue of party leadership.
Former Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda, former UP Congress chief Raj Babbar, former union ministers Anand Sharma and Kapil Sibal arrived in Jammu on Saturday. Rajya Sabha MP Vivek Tankha and Lok Sabha MP Manish Tewari are also joining them. The senior Congress leaders will attend a function of an NGO called Gandhi Global Family in Jammu on Saturday. Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad is the chairperson of this NGO.
Reportedly, the group of “dissidents” are expected to express their displeasure over the party’s functioning. It is said that the “group of dissenters” in the Congress are unhappy with Rahul Gandhi’s recent ‘North-South’ remarks. They are also disappointed over Ghulam Nabi Azad not being re-nominated to the Upper House of Parliament.
Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi had recently stoked controversy in Kerala after he had said politics in South India was over real “issues”, while people in North India did politics over superficial things.
Congress party says visit is not official, Azad to stay in Congress
Meanwhile, the Congress party has said that the visit by the senior leaders of the ‘G23’ group is private and not an official party visit.
“Neither did we ask for the visit of these leaders, nor has the party leadership in Delhi deputed them to pay a visit to Jammu. But after coming to know about Azad Sahib’s Jammu visit, we requested him to meet the J&K unit party leaders at Pradesh Congress Committee office in Jammu,” India Today quoted an unnamed Congress leader from Jammu.
The Congress leader said Ghulam Nabi Azad while interacting with party leaders in Jammu, has made it clear that he was not leaving the Congress or joining the BJP. There were rumours that Azad might quit the party after Congress decide against sending him to Rajya Sabha for another term.