Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi on Friday met party leaders from northeastern states and discussed with them a wide range of issues, including the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and problems faced by the people of the region. Top Congress leaders from the North East including former chief ministers and secretary in-charge of northeastern states Luizinho Faleiro along with former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, party treasurer Ahmed Patel and organisation in-charge KC Venugopal attended the meeting. The problems arising out of the NRC in Assam and other issues were also discussed during the meeting, as per sources. The meeting was held at Sonia Gandhi's residence, 10 Janpath, New Delhi.
Speaking about the meeting Faleiro said, "We had a long meeting. We discussed the problems facing North-East states. Senior leaders made presentations. We have decided to strengthen and consolidate the northeast coordination committees. We have also decided to set up a permanent office in Guwahati."
AICC General Secretary I/c North Eastern States, Shri @luizinhofaleiro speaks to the media about the discussion with Congress President Smt. Sonia Gandhi & North Eastern leaders. pic.twitter.com/MD7MWNyp8o— Congress (@INCIndia) September 13, 2019
Faleiro also said that the issue of NRC in Assam, was among the issues discussed at the meeting. "We have also decided that we should meet and discuss periodically the problems of the northeastern states, which are growing and mounting. It has to be brought down and we have to come together in unity," he added. The Congress leader said issues pertaining to the Citizenship Amendment Bill, which was opposed in Rajya Sabha and is a part of the BJP manifesto, was also discussed at the meeting.
Gandhi is also scheduled to meet chief ministers of Congress-ruled states of Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Puducherry in the evening. On Thursday, Sonia Gandhi had met with All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretaries, in-charges, PCC presidents, CLP leaders, Chief Ministers of Congress-ruled states, in the wake of coming assembly polls in Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Haryana, and Delhi. Top leaders in attendance include former PM Manmohan Singh, Ghulam Nabi Azad, KC Venugopal, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Sachin Pilot and Jyotiraditya Scindia. Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath skipped the meeting.
Apart from the strategy for the upcoming polls, the meeting has also been called to discuss preparations for Gandhi Jayanti. Previously, the party had announced that party workers will carry out padayatra across the country, wearing Gandhi topis and holding seminars to celebrate the Mahatma Gandhi's birth anniversary. During the meeting, party chief Sonia Gandhi had turned down a proposal to have 'Preraks' (motivators) for conducting the party's outreach activities across the country.