Ghulam Nabi Azad: Top Congressional Officers Signify Thaw, Appoints Azad Head of Covid Task Force | India News

NEW DELHI: In what appears to be a significant step towards reconciliation in the dissent-ravaged Congress, scores poorly in Assembly polls, the party on Tuesday appointed veteran Ghulam Nabi Azad as head of a “Covid Relief Task Force” which will coordinate the party’s pandemic mitigation activities.
Azad is a prominent member of the dissident bloc, the G-23, which last year in a letter to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi strongly questioned the leadership drift after the 2019 poll debacle and called for significant reforms and collective leadership to right the ship.
In addition, Maharashtra Minister and former Chief Minister Ashok Chavan has been appointed chairman of the committee which will “assess” the results of the elections to the Assembly and submit a report “within two weeks”. The other members of the committee are Salman Khurshid, MP, Manish Tewari, who is also a signatory of the G-23 letter, and MPs Vincent Pala and Jothi Mani.
The party’s defeat in Kerala, Assam, Pondicherry and West Bengal caused serious unrest in the ranks of Congress even as success in Tamil Nadu came as a junior partner of DMK. It sparked a debate at the CWC meeting on Monday where Sonia Gandhi announced an investigative panel.
But Azad as the head of a party committee is an important decision. The top congressional leader issued conciliatory statements following the debacle of the recent assembly elections. In an interview with TOI (May 3) after the verdict, instead of making a critical statement, he said the results were disappointing, but now was not the time to dwell on the reasons for the defeat and that it was rather a time to ensure unity in the party for a targeted fight against the pandemic. Even at the CWC meeting on Monday, Azad stuck to that line while making sharp observations on alliances and the big picture.
Azad’s accommodation to a leadership position is a major change from the heartburn caused by the controversial letter from the G-23 calling for reforms and questioning the leadership of Rahul Gandhi, even if he doesn’t. ‘not named, calling for a full-time party. chief. The praise reported by Azad for Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a rally in Jammu in February after his retirement from Rajya Sabha, who himself became a source of friction, also drew criticism within the party. He has been kept out of the Assembly’s recent election campaign in five states.
Other members of the Covid Relief Task Force are Ambika Soni, Mukul Wasnik, Pawan Bansal, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, KC Venugopal, Jairam Ramesh, Randeep Surjewala, Manish Chatrath, Ajoy Kumar, Pawan Khera, Gurdeep Sappal and the Congress leader of young BV Srinivas.

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