The venue for the Wednesday dinner meeting was supposed to be Kapil Sibal’s official residence but was later shifted to Ghulam Nabi Azad’s place. Sources say this was an indication that while the so-called Group of 23 rebels, or G23, was united and wanted to put pressure on the Congress, it didn’t support the demand that the party must move ahead without the Gandhis.
At the dinner meeting, the attendants munched over their future plans. The numbers of the group had seemingly swollen with many new faces like Mani Shankar Aiyar, Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, and Preneet Kaur. It was decided to build a pressure group and attempts will be made to reach out to more disgruntled Congress leaders. A source from the meeting said, “We are confident more will join us as we don’t want the Congress to die. There are few loyalists left now and they don’t have much to offer.”
So what will the pressure group do? It will give suggestions to the Congress top leadership, i.e., the Gandhis, and put pressure for changes in the organisation. “The same people can no longer call the shots,” said the source.
But there was dismay and consternation when news came in of the formation of five committees by the party to look into the recent assembly poll losses and suggest changes. The anger was especially over one name, Ajay Maken.