'Dissenter' Ghulam Nabi Azad to head Congress task force on COVID
New Delhi, May 11: The Congress on Tuesday also set up another 13-member task force, chaired by senior party member and former Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad for Covid relief work.
"Congress President has constituted a Covid-19 Relief Task Force to coordinate the relief activities of the Congress Party with immediate effect. It has Ghulam Nabi Azad as Chaiman and its members are Ambika Soni, Mukul Wasnik, Pawan Kumar Bansal, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, K C Venugopal, Jairam Ramesh and Randeep Singh Surjewala, among others," another official statement said.
The task force also has other party leaders Manish Chatrath, Ajoy Kumar, Pawan Khera, Gurdeep Singh Sappal and Indian Youth Congress chief B V Srinivas.
Azad, Wasnik and Tewari were prominent members of the group of 23 leaders who had written to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi in August last year, demanding organisational overhaul.
Sonia Gandhi had said that at the CWV meeting that the five-member group will look at every aspect of recent electoral reverses in and come back with its findings.
"These will yield uncomfortable lessons, but if we do not face up to the reality, if we do not look the facts in the face, we will not draw the right lessons," she had said.
Gandhi had also said that these results tell the party clearly that "we need to put our house in order".
The Congress failed to win a seat in West Bengal, while its performances in Assam, Kerala and Puducherry was also not very significant.
The evaluation group was set up after demands from within, including the group of 23 to introspect and evaluate the results. Some leaders have also said that the party needs to reevalate itself and rejuvenate the ranks.
Ashok Chavan to evaluate poll debacle
The Congress also set up a five-member group headed by former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan to evaluate the party''s performance in the just-concluded assembly polls, and another team under senior leader Ghulam Nabi Azad Covid to coordinate its Covid-19 relief work.
It comes a day after party chief Sonia Gandhi proposed, at a meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC), the formation of a group to assess the party''s losses in Kerala, Assam, West Bengal and Puducherry.
"The Congress president has constituted a group to evaluate the results of the recently concluded assembly elections, with immediate effect. Ashok Chavan will be the chairman and other members of the group are Salman Khurshid, Manish Tewari, Vincent H Pala and Jothi Mani," an official statement from AICC general secretary K C Venugopal said.
The group will submit its report within two weeks, the communication further said.