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PM Modi Fires 'G-23' Jibe At Cong While Thanking Ghulam Nabi Azad: 'Take In Right Spirit'

Taking a dig at Congress while praising veteran MP Ghulam Nabi Azad on Monday, PM Modi thanked Azad for praising the elections held in Jammu-Kashmir recently

PM Modi

Taking a dig at Congress while praising veteran MP Ghulam Nabi Azad on Monday, PM Modi thanked Azad for praising the elections held in Jammu-Kashmir. Stating that he hoped Congress would take Azad's praise in the right sense and not listen to 'suggestions of G-23', PM Modi took a veiled dig at the dissent in Congress, while addressing the Rajya Sabha in his Motion of Thanks to President's address. Azad - one of the 23 signatories, who had dissented to the Congress High Command, has sought 'structural changes in the party', which has not been received well by the Grand Old Party.  

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Azad: 'Restore statehood to J&K'

Azad, whose Rajya Sabha term is set to end on February 15, had praised the J&K administration for holding the DDC polls, panchayat polls in the Union territory of J&K peacefully. But he also demanded the restoration of statehood saying, "Now, there is no excuse left to have an elected government in J&K. In a sensitive border state like J&K, local MLAs are necessary. In a state which is affected by Pakistan and China to have local elected representatives is important for security". The demand for statehood in Kashmir has been raised by J&K NC, PDP, Apni Party, Congress and others, which the Centre has assured will happen in due course. 

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Congress chief election by June

On 22 January, party general secretary KC Venugopal announced that there will be 'an elected Congress President by June 2021'. The CWC meeting also attended by some of the 'dissenters' saw tense exchanges between Ashok Gehlot and Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma - over their questioning of the Gandhi leadership. As per reports, CEA is drawing up a voters list of around 1500 AICC delegates and is planning to hold digital elections, marking a first - for electing a president with a 2-year term. Recently, quashing all internal dissent, after a stormy Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting, the grand-old party retained Sonia Gandhi as party chief passing a resolution strengthening the Gandhis' leadership and not allowing anyone to undermine the party or the Gandhis (Rahul and Sonia).

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Congress president saga

Congress has been in a leadership dilemma since Rahul Gandhi quit as party chief in the post-Lok Sabha 2019 debacle. This led to a barrage of resignations from posts like Milind Deora, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Priyanka Chaturvedi and many more. Amidst a lot of turmoil with Priyanka Vadra too being considered, Congress finally went back to their safe option- Sonia Gandhi. Then, 23 senior leaders sought 'structural changes', internal election to the CWC even at state levels, the formation of an Independent Election Authority and institutional leadership mechanism, full-time leadership at the helm at the party. Since Rahul's exit, Congress has lost Madhya Pradesh's elected government, Bihar, Delhi, Haryana polls, barely managed to save Rajasthan, and won Jharkhand polls in alliance. It is also in an uneasy three-way government in Maharashtra with NCP and Shiv Sena, stitching a post-poll alliance.

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