Published: 19th March 2022
What The FAQ: Who are the G-23 and what do they want from the Congress party?
After a pounding in the recently concluded Assembly elections, the Indian National Congress seems to be in a bit of a disarray. And at the centre of this call for an overhaul is the G-23
Every gripping story needs a good ol' rebellion and if reports are to be believed, the grand old party of India is facing some tough voices within its own forces. The Congress' humiliating defeat in the recently concluded Assembly elections of five states, including Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, and its declining sway with the people of India has given rise to a group of party members demanding a major overhaul of the top brass. Here's all you need to know about them.
When did the G-23 come together first?
After the Indian National Congress' defeat in the General Elections of 2019, then-President Rahul Gandhi tendered his resignation and was replaced by Sonia Gandhi at the helm as Acting President. In August 2020, after the INC was handed a string of defeats in various Assembly Elections, 23 members of the party addressed a letter to the interim President seeking urgent changes within the party and "active leadership". These came to be known as the G-23.
Who are the members of this faction?
Some of the more vocal members within the Congress that take a stance to challenge the top brass include leaders such as Ghulam Nabi Azad, Shashi Tharoor, Manish Tewari, Prithviraj Chauhan and Kapil Sibal.
What are their demands?
Among the party reforms that this band of rebels demands is a change in the leadership that has historically been headed only by the members of the Gandhi family. Although they have offered to resign in the past, including earlier this month, their resignations were not accepted by members of the Congress Working Committee. Kapil Sibal invited some backlash when he said the Gandhi family cannot expect a group of loyalists (referring to the CWC) to vote for a change and had asked the family to step away from the leadership.
How has the top leadership of Congress responded to their dissent?
On March 19, days after the G-23's meet at Ghulam Nabi Azad's residence, in what was one of the multiple meets this month, Congress President Sonia Gandhi reached out to him for an hour-long discussion. After the meeting, Azad told the reporters that the leader was taking suggestions to "strengthen" the party from within.