After Poll Debacle, Navjot Sidhu, Ganesh Godiyal Resign

New Delhi: Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday took her step as part of ‘re-organisation’ for the party, asking party chiefs Navjot Singh Sidhu in Punjab, Ganesh Godiyal in Uttarakhand, Ajay Kumar Lallu in UP, Girish Chodankar in Goa and Nameirakpam Loken Singh in Manipur to resign.Moments later, party spokesperson Supriya Shrinate said the presidents of all five state units had resigned taking moral responsibility for the losses.

With this move from Sonia Gandhi, Navjot Singh Sidhu resigned from the Punjab Congress Punjab Committee. Godiyal also tweeted his resignation within minutes of Sonia’s sacking orders being announced on Twitter by AICC media chief Randeep Surjewala. Sonia’s move came on the eve of a meeting of G-23 leaders at the residence of former minister and sitting Rajya Sabha MP Kapil Sibal tomorrow.

Sources said G-23 veteran Ghulam Nabi Azad today sent out invites to Congress leaders beyond G-23 to come and discuss the future of the Congress and its viability in the opposition space. The G-23 itself has been shrinking in numbers with many, who previously signed the letter asking Sonia to reorganise the party, dissociating gradually.

Sibal had last year hosted a similar meeting of Congress and non-Congress leaders, promising continuous engagement. Today, Sibal demanded that the Gandhis step aside from active roles and let someone else lead the Congress.

The G-23 members in the CWC, Azad, Anand Sharma and Mukul Wasnik, however, didn’t insist on Sonia’s resignation in the Sunday meeting that the party chief had called to talk about the Congress debacle in the five states.

Though the Congress chief told the CWC that she and her family were ready to make any sacrifice for the party, the committee asked Sonia to continue as interim president until a new chief was elected and also authorised her to make changes to strengthen the party.

Sonia’s firing orders for five state chiefs today is a step towards party revamp. AICC general secretaries in charge of the five states could be next in the line of fire. The CWC, in its prima facie observations about poll losses, had blamed “gaps in strategy” as the principal reason for the defeats.

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