Sonia Gandhi works on revamping Congress, sets committees for economic, national and foreign affairs
Sonia Gandhi works on revamping Congress: Congress leader Sonia Gandhi, in a move to revamp her party image after rise in internal criticism over monopolistic hold of Gandhi family over the party, decided to set three separate committees to look over national affairs and policy issues. On Friday, the senior congress leader announced the establishing of economic affairs committee, foreign affairs committee and national security committee. While revealing the names of leaders, who would be part of these panels, Mrs Gandhi added that former prime minister Manmohan Singh would be of all the three.
As per the report, economic affairs committee included former finance minister P Chidambaram, and party leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Digvijaya Singh, while Jairam Ramesh would be its convener. The committee on foreign affairs had Anand Sharma, Shashi Tharoor, Salman Khurshid and Saptagiri Ulaka in it. Khurshid would act as the convener of this panel. The committee on national security included leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, party leaders Veerappa Moily, Vincent H Pala and V Vaithilingam. Pala was appointed the panel convener.
As a welcoming move, Congress leaders appointed even the dissenting leaders to be part of these committees. The dissenting camp surfaced after the party’s bad performance in Bihar elections, followed by by-polls in other states. Senior party leader, Kapil Sibal in his recent interview with Indian Express, expressed the need for change and challenged Gandhi family’s control over the party. Sibal was supported by many Congress leaders. Besides, months earlier 23 Congress leaders signed a letter raising similar concerns. The letter was addressed to Sonia Gandhi written in August raising the need for bringing in changes in the party.
Among the newly appointed panelist – Ghulam Nabi Azad, Veerappa Moily, Anand Sharma and Shahi Tharoor were the signatories of that letter. P. Chidambaram was the latest addition to the dissenting camp as he supported Sibal’s comments and added that the party lacked organised ground strategy and its presence was getting weaker.
With reference to the latest move, AICC general secretary KC Venugopal, in his official statement, said,“The Congress president has constituted three committees to consider and discuss issues and policies related to the subjects of economic affairs, foreign affairs and national security.”