Cong dissidents, loyalists agree to corner govt on China, economy and Covid

New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi addresses during an election rally organised to campaign for the party’s candidate Tarvinder Singh Marwah ahead of February 8 Delhi Assembly elections, at Delhi’s Jangpura on Feb 4, 2020. (Photo: IANS)

New Delhi, Sep 8 (IANS) In a first sign of truce, Congress dissidents and loyalists sat together on Tuesday to devise the party strategy for the upcoming Monsoon Session of Parliament.

The Congress dissidents who call themselves reformists, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma and surprise invitee Manish Tewari participated in the meeting chaired by interim President Sonia Gandhi. This was the first instance after the stormy Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting that Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi came face to face with these leaders.

The CWC was held last month in the backdrop of a letter written by 23 leaders for “visible and effective leadership” and elections from the block to the CWC level in the party.

Sources say Rahul Gandhi said, “the government is hiding its failure,and diverting issues when the country is facing Chinese incursion, economic mess, pandemic and unemployment.”

The party decided to raise all the issues related to the economy, pandemic, unemployment, the Chinese incursion and the suspension of Question Hour and will demand a detailed discussion on these matters.

The Congress is mulling whether to contest the post of Deputy Chairman in consultation with like minded parties. Its leaders were of the view that a joint opposition candidate should be fielded in the election which is scheduled on September 14.

Leaders of both the Houses including A K Antony, Mallikarjun Kharge and Rahul Gandhi were present at the meeting.

Rahul Gandhi has been releasing videos on the economy and has been critical of the Chinese incursion. In his series of videos he has alleged that demonetisation was an attack on India’s poor, its farmers, labourers and small shopkeepers and termed it as an attack on India’s unorganised economy. He has also slammed the Modi government on the GST, alleging that it was the second big blow to the unorganised sector of the economy and that its faulty implementation had destroyed the economy.

After India surpassed Brazil in Covid cases the Congress blamed the government. “Narendra Modi government has failed on the pandemic front. The government has left the citizens to their fate as India becomes the second worst-hit nation in terms of the number of infections,” Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala had alleged on Monday.

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