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Cong's Virtual No Show in Polls Yet Not in Focus, Sonia Calls Special Panel Meet Over Sibal's 'Introspection' View

File photo of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi. (Reuters)

File photo of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi. (Reuters)

Even regional parties are eating into what has been traditional votebank of the Congress. The recent example being of Bihar where Owaisi's AIMIM did well and snatched the traditional base of the grand old party i.e. the Muslims.

Pallavi Ghosh

The first fallout of the comments by Kapil Sibal, questioning the ability of the Congress to provide an alternative to the BJP, emerged on Tuesday when Sonia Gandhi called a meeting of her advisory committee.

The panel consisting of KC Venugopal, Ahmed Patel, Ambika Soni, Randeep Surjewala and AK Antony was set up by her to look into the concerns raised by the group of 23 in their letter to the Congress interim president in August. A special CWC was called to discuss the issue but the meeting being a lashing out match at those who had dared to point fingers at the functioning of the party.

The Congress, which remained mum on Sibal's comments the whole day, finally broke its silence on Monday evening and chose Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot to send across their reaction.

Gehlot is a senior Congress leader and is close to the top leadership. Also, he has the stature to take on Sibal. In a series of tweets, Gehlot attacked his colleague for "hurting" the sentiments of Congress workers and asserted that even now, the grand old party is the only alternative to the Bharatiya Janata Party.

While no one else has spoken yet, the fact remains that there is a simmering discontent; the fact that the party has not bothered to hold meetings to address the problem; that elections after elections, exposes how Congress is no longer the first choice.

Even regional parties are eating into what has been traditional votebank of the Congress. The recent example being of Bihar where Owaisi's AIMIM did well and snatched the traditional base of the grand old party i.e. the Muslims.

Owaisi has now promised to take on both the TMC and the BJP in Bengal elections, where the Congress is a virtual no show. The advisory committee is likely to discuss the steps needed ahead to battle the listlessness within the Congress and also how to stem the possibility of more dissenting voices coming up in future. But as News18.con has picked up, Sibal's voice may be just the beginning of another round of storm, especially with party presidential polls round the corner.


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