At least 23 senior leaders wrote to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, asking for a complete rehaul of the organisation, The Indian Express reported on Sunday. It said the writers of the letter include former chief ministers such as Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Prithviraj Chavan, former ministers Kapil Sibal and Shashi Tharoor, and younger leaders such as Milind Deora and Jitin Prasada.
HT had earlier reported that the letter was delivered to Gandhi on the Independence Day. The Express reported that the letter called for a "full time and effective leadership'' which is both "visible'' and "active''. It said that the leaders, in the letter, pressed for an "urgent establishment of an institutional leadership mechanism" to "collectively guide the party's revival''.
Former Rajya Sabha leader PJ Kurien confirmed the letter to HT. "I can't tell you the details but I can only tell you that I signed it. The letter will be made available after the CWC meeting tomorrow," he told HT.
The letter now sets the stage for a stormy session of the Congress Working Committee on Monday. When former party spokesperson Sanjay Jha spoke of such a letter recently, the party's chief spokesperson, Randeep Singh Surjewala, took to Twitter to rebut Jha, whose claim created a buzz in the Congress circles. He called it a ploy by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to divert attention from other issues.
"Special Misinformation Group on Media-TV Debate Guidance in its Whatsapp of today directed to run the story of a non-existent letter of Congress leaders to divert attention from Facebook-BJP links. Of course, BJP stooges have started acting upon it," Surjewala had tweeted.
The letter, Express reported, didn't name former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi but said that the uncertainty over the leadership demoralises the workers and has weakened the party.
"It is estimated that around 100 Congress leaders (including MP's), distressed at the state of affairs within the party, have written a letter to Mrs Sonia Gandhi, Congress President, asking for a change in political leadership and transparent elections in the CWC. Watch this space," Jha had tweeted.
Senior Congress leader and MP Shashi Tharoor took to Twitter on Sunday and posted a cryptic tweet on loss of hope and lack of "passion and urge". Tharoor posted a quote by former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
"Without passion and urge, there is a gradual oozing out of hope and vitality, a settling down on lower levels of existence, a slow merging into non-existence. We have become prisoners of the past and some part of its immobility sticks to us'. ~ Jawaharlal Nehru," Tharoor tweeted.