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Congress panel unable to hold detailed discussion on Bihar


New Delhi: The six-member AICC committee to assist Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi could not have detailed discussion on the Bihar poll outcome on Tuesday as key members Ahmed Patel and AK Antony were unable to participate for personal reasons. The verbal sparring in party circles since the Bihar poll verdict, however, continued. Ahead of the meeting, some more leaders criticised Kapil Sibal’s remarks on the state of party affairs. The day also saw a choreographed #MyLeader RahulGandhi campaign launched by the social media wing of the party. Sources said there was a proposal to constitute a panel to look into what went wrong for Congress in the Bihar polls.

The AICC panel meeting was attended by Ambika Soni, Mukul Wasnik, Randeep Surjewala and KC Venugopal. The meeting reportedly discussed the party’s plan for submitting two crore signatures against the Centre’s contentious farms laws. The meeting also is learnt to have discussed the issue arising out of BJP attack on the Congress over the latter’s attitude towards Gupkar group of parties in the Kashmir valley. AICC in-charge of J&K, Rajni Patil, it is learnt, was also asked to give a briefing on discussions held and decisions taken by state leaders on the matter.

Amid indication there was a signal from the leadership, Congress Lok Sabha floor leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury criticised Sibal’s intentions and wondered why he didn’t he campaign for the party in Bihar, overlooking the fact that it is the AICC that decided who campaigned for each election. “After 2019, Rahul Gandhi stepped down following the bad result of Congress nationwide and now nobody can question the intention of Rahul or Sonia.

They stepped down and also offered that someone outside the Gandhi family should lead the party. In the current context, Sibal should stop giving sermons and come to the ground and work for the party” a statement circulated by Chowdhury’s office through his authorised WhatsApp group for media said. Another Gandhi loyalist Salman Khurshid told the media, “I don’t think we should discuss anything outside party fora. I don’t think we should be playing to people outside.

There’s serious work that has to be done. People like me have no worry about our future as we feel comfortable in our party.” Many Congress leaders, however, saw these as “command performance”, aimed at sending a signal to ‘loyalists’. Some leaders have pushed for issuing a public gag on comments on party matters and for bringing Sibal’s remarks under the scanner of the disciplinary committee but many others indicated there will be an avalanche of retaliation if any such a course is resorted to.

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