rebels have decided to go public with their issues and up the ante on grievances that have roiled the party for months since the G-23 leaders put forward their set of demands.
A group of prominent G-23 leaders will attend public meetings in Jammu on Saturday and Sunday. While the programmes are being dubbed as felicitation functions for
Ghulam Nabi Azad
, who just retired from Rajya Sabha, sources said they would sound the battle cry against “majoritarianism of BJP” — a shorthand for the message that Congress is failing in its duty to mobilise progressive forces.
The grouping claimed it would hold such “non-political platforms” across the country to rally “progressive parties like Congress’s breakaway outfits” and are starting from the “head of India and will go up to the tail of India”. Sources said a rally was being planned in Kurukshetra, stronghold of former Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda.
Among those likely to attend the function in Jammu are Anand Sharma, Hooda,
, Vivek Tankha and Manish Tewari, and possibly
and Akhilesh Singh.
The development came as a surprise to many since it was believed that the CWC decision to hold internal elections in June had settled the controversy triggered by the G-23’s demand for organisational reforms.
A member of the group said the defeat in Gujarat urban polls and the fall of the
government proved that the present Congress set-up was falling short of its duty to take on BJP. He said there were serious reservations about the choice of managers put in charge of key party functions. Azad, who used to be the pointsman for negotiations with DMK, was ignored this week.
“There is exasperation and we are only conveying our message to the party that politics ought to be taken seriously,” an MP said.
If post-Jammu, the rebels do go national with public functions, it will mark a serious jolt for Congress which is faced with tough times ahead, starting with the task of wresting back power from BJP in Assam and win in
against the Left front.
Many believe the rebels are positioning for the assembly results in May. A negative outcome may put further pressure on the Congress brass led by
and the rebels may gain more traction. “Our numbers are growing, the party should remember,” a leader said.